Silence snoring with ‘NIGHTLASE’ and cutting-edge laser esthetic applications
Of the commercially available hard- and soft-tissue lasers, the Fotona Lightwalker dual laser wavelengths of Nd:YAG and Er:YAG have high efficacy and ability for almost unlimited pulse control, and the following procedures have been developed to take advantage of these attributes. Along with this increased level of performance comes significant patient comfort.
Snoring affects millions of Americans, and of those approximately 67 percent may have some type of significant sleep disorder.
Dentists are in a great position to help screen and in many cases treat these problems with airway management. Helping patients improve their sleep can profoundly improve their health, their quality of life and the well-being of their loved ones.
The “Gold Standard” for the treatment of sleep-disordered breathing is the CPAP-type device. Following that in 1981 was the introduction of Mandibular Advancement Devices (MAD).
Compliance with both of these treatment modalities shows a reduction over time and of significant side effects. However, NIGHTLASE™ snoring reduction therapy protocol is a unique approach to treatment using the Fotona Lightwalker dental laser with a proprietary protocol and handpiece.
NIGHTLASE uses the photothermal capabilities of the Lightwalker laser to convert and initiate the formation of new and more elastic collagen. The target mucosal tissues are the oropharynx, soft palate and uvula.
The proprietary pulse characteristics create non-ablative heat generation that initiates the conversion of existing collagen to more elastic and organized forms and also initiates “neocollagenesis,” the creation of new collagen.
This process results in a visible elevation of the soft palate and uvula and tightening of the oropharyngeal tissues, resulting in an improvement in the upper airway volume. The results can be seen in Figure 1.
Alternative to, or co-therapy with, appliance or CPAP device
NIGHTLASE therapy is indicated for cases when the patient has been diagnosed with chronic snoring, UARS or mild to moderate sleep apnea and either cannot or chooses not to wear an appliance or CPAP device. It can also be used in co-therapy with those devices and represents a less-invasive alternative to current surgical, chemical or radiosurgical options that may require hospitalization, general anesthesia or soft-tissue mutilation.
NIGHTLASE has an extremely high success rate in producing a positive change in sleep patterns.
Research has shown that it can reduce and attenuate snoring and provides an effective non-invasive modality to lessen the effects of obstructive sleep apnea.
Not permanent, but easy touch up
NIGHTLASE therapy is not a permanent alteration. It lasts anywhere from six to 12 months; however, according to the company, it can be easily touched up at follow-up appointments. NIGHTLASE is biologically different than other laser protocols that have been previously used.
The focus with traditional protocols was to induce fibrosis and limit tissue mobility, whereas NIGHTLASE is focused on reducing the collapsibility of the upper airway and maintaining natural tissue mobility.
Cosmetic procedure: Intraoral facial rejuvenation
SMOOTHLASE is another thermally mediated therapy using the Lightwalker laser. It was developed to be used intraorally for facial rejuvenation.
Depending on the depth of the vestibule, practitioners are able to treat wrinkles, lines and sagging from the infraorbital area to the angle of the mandible. This includes peri-oral vertical lip lines and the “disappearing lips” often seen in mature adults. SMOOTHLASE uses a high-tech proprietary handpiece that enables virtually painless therapy requiring no injections or anesthetics. The procedure shows immediate results that continue to improve over the course of treatment and beyond.
Compared with chemical and surgical alternatives, SMOOTHLASE is an all-natural therapy, with no requirements for injecting toxins or artificial fillers.
Using the Lightwalker laser, practitioners can now offer patients cosmetic and health improvements that reach beyond restorative and rehabilitative dentistry.
Editor’s note: Shiffman will be presenting these and other cutting-edge laser dental procedures at the 2015 Greater New York Dental Meeting from 2-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 29. Additionally, you can visit Fotona in booth No. 3433 in the exhibit hall at the Greater New York Dental Meeting.
This article was published in Dental Tribune U.S. Edition, Vol. 10, No. 12, December 2015 issue.