Many people put off going to the dentist due to fear of the drill, needles and numbness. Dr. Renee Kurtz has freed her patients from these fears. She purchased Solea, the only 9.3 μm CO2 all-tissue laser that can cut virtually every cavity prep anesthesia-free and enable reliably blood-free and suture-free soft tissue procedures, delivering a dental experience that patients want.
Based in Cheshire, Connecticut, Dr. Kurtz performs general dentistry for everyone from young children to geriatric patients. The practice specializes in general, restorative, and cosmetic procedures.
Replacing the Dental Drill and the Scalpel
Unlike a dental drill, which uses a steel and carbide tip to physically break up a tooth, the Solea laser emits a unique 9.3 μm wavelength and actually vaporizes enamel. This new approach eliminates two of the primary causes of patient anxiety and inconvenience – the needle and the drill. In soft tissue, Solea enables a degree of control that is unattainable with any other instrument. Solea is precise, atraumatic, and virtually blood-free, allowing you to practice optimal tissue management, and to deliver better outcomes. It allows Dr. Kurtz to perform everything from cavities to complex gum surgeries, virtually pain-free.
“People often put off going to the dentist,” says Dr. Kurtz. “With Solea, we can take away the pain and anxiety that accompany dental visits and deliver a better patient experience.”
Making Dentist Visits Faster and Easier
The Solea laser works on any tissue in the oral cavity. Running at 1,000 pulses per second, it creates a vibration that dulls the pain receptors of the teeth, eliminating the need for anesthesia in most cases. Without anesthesia, more procedures can be done in one visit, and patients are surprised to find that cavities can be filled so quickly and conveniently. And since there’s no anesthetic used, they no longer have to deal with numbness or eating restrictions after their dental visits.
Promoting Needle-free and Drill-free Dentistry
Dr. Kurtz has reached out across the community to help people understand that they no longer need to fear going to the dentist. The practice created fun videos to show potential patients that the experience is much easier than they imagine. In addition to generating a wide range of social media and print advertising, the practice was featured on local TV shows, including Better Connecticut and Connecticut Style. “People often think of the dentist as the man with the drill and needle who scared you as a kid,” says Dr. Kurtz. “We work to break that stigma.”
This is especially helpful when working with children. “Solea has been a game changer,” she says. “I can’t say enough about how fantastic it is to not have to numb young patients. It’s so much easier. It takes the fear away and makes kids more willing to come back to get fillings.”
Improving New Patient Flow
The investment in the Solea laser has helped Dr. Kurtz grow her practice considerably. “Before Solea, we were getting about 10-12 new patients a month,” says Dr. Kurtz. “Now it’s about 30-40 new patients a month. Most new calls come because people have heard about the dental laser and either don’t like getting a shot and feeling numb after the visit or are terrified of the dentist. People who haven’t been to a dentist in years are coming in because they heard about us and now they’re ready to come back. Once they’ve been here, they tell their friends and family that going to the dentist is nothing to be afraid of.”
The practice plans to add two new operatories and another assistant to support the added growth attributed to incorporating Solea.
The practice is also able to perform many more soft tissue procedures, such as gingivectomies, as well as gingival contouring for kids whose gums are inflamed after having braces. Today, they’re able to sculpt the soft tissue virtually without anesthesia and bleeding. In addition, the practice can now handle tooth extraction and crown lengthening cases themselves – and often save teeth. “We have boosted our revenues by performing more specialized, higher-margin procedures in-house rather than referring out.
We can also take care of issues such as canker sores and cold sores that people don’t normally think a dentist can do,” Dr. Kurtz says. “People are excited when you can make that pain go away within a minute.”
Want to learn more? Register for the upcoming webinar: How Solea, the All-Tissue Laser Transformed My Practice & Increased New Patient Flow by 300%
No More Insurance Hassles
“The Solea laser has driven so much business that I’ve been able to shift from an insurance model to a fee-for-service model, which is my personal preference,” Dr. Kurtz says. She initially weighed two options; 1) build out her practice and add operatories to accommodate additional business while staying on an insurance model or 2) transition to a fee-for-service model and focus on a smaller practice with less insurance hassles. She chose the second option and hasn’t looked back since.
Since implementing the Solea laser, Dr. Kurtz has realized numerous efficiencies, including the ability to:
- Remove obstacles that slowed her down. “Most procedures are performed without anesthesia,” says Dr. Kurtz. “Without having to wait for a patient to get numb, we can get started right away and finish the treatment without any interruptions. That allows us to see two to three more patients a day, at roughly $200-300 each. Over the course of a five-day workweek that’s just over $3,000 per week.” In procedures like Class V, Dr. Kurtz can easily transition from working with hard tissue to soft tissue, “I don’t have to wait for things to get set up,” she says. “I just change the weight of my foot on the Solea foot pedal and can switch what I’m doing.”
- Handle multi-quadrant dentistry in one appointment. Often patients who have a cavity in multiple quadrants of the mouth don’t want to have those filled all in one sitting, because they don’t want their entire mouth to be numb. Since Solea allows dentists to fill cavities without anesthetic, they no longer have to break up the work into multiple appointments. “For multi-quadrant dentistry, Solea is awesome,” says Dr. Kurtz. “I’m not restricted to which side I’m working on. Patients don’t want to be bothered with multiple appointments, so they love the convenience of it.”
Having Solea gave Dr. Kurtz’s practice another way to stand out and to grow. “Solea makes your money back and then some,” says Dr. Kurtz. “And it makes dentistry fun again!”