ALDs 2021 Message of Hope from ALD President

By Ed Kusek, DDS, ALD President

As we enter a New Year, we have hope that the vaccine will allow us by next summer to be close to our past normal.

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AAID Publishes White Paper on COVID 19 Pandemic and Beyond

In September, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry published a white paper entitled "AAID White Paper: Management of the DentalImplant Patient During COVID-19 and Beyond” that addresses risks to patients and dental health care providers, transmission of saliva droplets, dental aerosols, methods for mitigation, including the proper way to equip dental offices. The paper addresses the following questions:  
  • What are the primary COVID-19 factors that put patients and dental health care providers at risk?

  • What is the proper way to equip dental offices to mitigate the associated risk factors?

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Laser Safety Tip - Optical Hazards

By Vanessa Freitas, DDS, ALD Laser Safety Committee Chair

Laser devices should always be handled with care. Depending on the laser’s potential to cause injury to the eyes or skin followed by direct exposure to the beam and/or secondary hazards, the lasers are divided into hazard classes (Class I, II, III and IV).

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Member Spotlight - Mary Lynn Smith, RDH

Mary Lynn Smith, RDH

Our member spotlight this month is Mary Lynn Smith, RDH who has been an active member of ALD since 2004. Her journey with lasers started with a bit of skepticism, but after attending an ALD annual conference and learning of the many benefits of laser use, she hasn't looked back since! Mary Lynn participates in several ALD committees, including Auxiliary, Membership and Certification. You may contact Mary Lynn at [email protected].

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ALD Hits Grand Slam with Virtual Fall Symposium on PBM New Solutions with Light Therapy

By Gail Siminovsky, CAE, ALD Executive Director

October was Photobiomodulation month for the Academy of Laser Dentistry. The Symposium brought together over 140 attendees, 3 industry partners and 8 PBM experts to share the excitement and pioneering leadership in dentistry. New uses of light therapy to treat pain, providing relief for patients suffering from chronic pain, oral mucositis and other chemotherapy side effects, brain trauma, and varieties of facial pain were presented.

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COVID 19: Ensuring Safety as a Contract Worker

By Kristin Pristavec-Hunter, RDH, BS

Starting a new job can be intimidating on its own, but as a contract hygienist "filling-in" is like the first day, every day. With COVID, this makes that first-day experience more worrisome. Safety protocols vary between each office, you never know what to expect. Some offices have gone bare bones and even ask that the clinician bring their own PPE while others have made a big effort in upgrading practice systems and give you every piece of PPE you could imagine.

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Nothing Makes Dentistry More Fun Than a Respiratory Virus Causing a Global Pandemic and PPE Shortage!

By Laurene K. Duke, DDS

Uncertainty has been the mantra for me during these COVID times. I willingly shut my practice as the California governor asked us all to do in March. It seemed to be for only a few weeks. I usually take a vacation of 6-8 weeks per year and closing for a few weeks was not an issue for me. Since the stay at home order was in place, I did not travel (my planned trip was cancelled) and I could take this time to revamp a few protocols for aerosols and get back to seeing patients. WOW!! This was not the case as we all know. I did not even suggest my staff go on unemployment for the first few weeks, thinking it would be a short shut down and I could manage the payroll. So many unforeseen circumstances have led to these uncertain COVID times.

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Dr. Gerry Ross: Photobiomodulation Expert & Advocate

We interviewed Dr. Gerry Ross, who has used PBM for over 25 years, about his experiences with PBM. 


Dr. Gerry Ross is a long time member of ALD, he serves on the ALD Board of Directors and serves as the chair of the Academy’s Membership Committee. Using PBM for more than 25 years is more than enough to make him an expert. Dr. Ross has also written PBM chapters for two textbooks and is on the editorial board of the journal, "Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery". Dr. Ross has been using lasers in his practice since 1992 and has been utilizing photobiomodulation (PBM) since 1993 to reduce pain and promote healing. He’s been practicing general dentistry for 49 years.

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Healing with Light

By Gail S. Siminovsky, CAE

This October, the Academy of Laser Dentistry (ALD) is featuring conversations with the world’s top experts on Improving Patient Care & Wellbeing Using Light Therapy.  Healing with Light presents the latest scientific evidence, and clinical best practices, for using photo-bio-modulation (PBM) light therapy in everyday patient care.  Chiropractors, physical therapists, myofunctional therapists, and nurses use PBM for pain management, wound healing, and reducing inflammation.  Veterinarians use PBM to treat our pets and large animals.  Research on PBM’s role in reducing opioid use, treating side-effects of cancer therapy, addressing respiratory complications arising from COVID-19, and reversing brain trauma and macular degeneration are ongoing.

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Laser Analgesia in Restorative Applications: Is It All Just Hype?

By Marina Polonsky DDS, MSc Laser Dentistry, MALD, MWCLI


How many of us have heard the claims from the manufacturers stating, “Buy our laser and you won’t need to use local anesthesia again for your restorative procedures”? And how many of us bought into these claims, but were then disappointed when a patient stopped the cavity preparation, requesting that conventional anesthesia be administered, due to pain? If the claim of ‘laser analgesia’ was the main reason for such a big investment, how disappointing it is to now have such a valuable piece of equipment sitting idle in the corner of your operatory?


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Laser Safety Tip: Laser Plume Hazards

By Nick Clausen, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA


When utilizing lasers, safety is always paramount. Many times, safety attention only goes towards things we immediately see or may feel. Because of this, sometimes laser plume hazards are not discussed as much.However, due to the recent pandemic, this topic has become top of mind for the dental patient. As a matter fact, Fortune Management asked all of their 1,000 doctors to survey their patients on what was most important during the pandemic and safety was No. 1 and same-day dentistry or doing as much as you can in a single visit, was No. 2 of things patients wanted most from their dentist.


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