By Dr. Ben Curtis
Has this ever happened to you? I know I am not the only one! As a pediatric dentist, this is one area where I use to be nervous and concerned, but I know is an opportunity for my office to shine. I integrated an all-tissue laser into my pediatric practice five years ago and it has been a game changer for my patients and my office.
This case is of a 5-year-old child who has a mucocele, a ruptured salivary gland that has formed a cyst of saliva that persists or gets larger. Fig. 1 is before treatment and Fig. 2 is two weeks post-treatment. These lesions are almost always caused by trauma and are quite common in early childhood. Kids of this age are not known for leaving things alone and they tend to bite and suck on these swellings, which makes them worse. The traditional surgical treatment involves a scalpel, lots of gauze to control hemorrhage and sutures to close the surgical site. Well, that sounds terrifying on a 5-year-old child! Not fun, right?
Then comes the all-tissue laser and changes everything! With an all-tissue laser, we can provide a more minimally invasive surgical approach with minimal bleeding, no sutures and excellent healing … and dare I say, fun for me as the doctor! Could this be a win-win situation for both the patient and the doctor? Yes! I have been able to help countless patients who have these oral pathology lesions with the all-tissue laser in a simple in-office procedure that takes me less than 10 minutes. This procedure has become my most favorite pediatric procedure to preform, and it is all do to the all-tissue lasers help!