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ALD Member Spotlight on Katie Schnorrenberg, RDH

By Katie Schnorrenberg, RDH

My name is Katie Schnorrenberg and I have been a hygienist for 15 years. I love the connection that I have with my patients and I enjoy seeing improvements in their oral health. I work in a general dental office with another amazing hygienist. She has encouraged me to utilize the dental laser as a standard practice tool in periodontal therapy. We are fortunate to work with a dentist who values periodontal health and supports us as clinicians in improving our patient’s oral health by the use of the dental laser.

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Photoacupuncture: Combining Eastern and Western Medicine for Integrative Healing

By Dr. Grace Sun, 2023 Conference Committee Member

Comprehensive management of orofacial pain has traditionally been limited to western treatment modalities and healthy lifestyle choices, often relying on prescribed pharmaceuticals – but there are alternative treatment modality options that should be considered.

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Why Certify? Why does it matter? What makes the ALD Standard Level Certification Course – A Certificate Program a robust program?

By Gail Siminovsky, CAE - ALD Executive Director

Dentists and hygienists that complete ALD’s Certificate Program are better grounded in foundational knowledge to guide their clinical

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Lasers & PerioTrays(TM)

By Lynn Atkinson, RDH

Traditional non-surgical periodontal therapy has been performed by the dental hygienist for decades. The ultimate goal is to treat and thenmaintain periodontal health. There are several adjunctive therapies available for the clinician to incorporate along with non-surgical periodontal therapy. The combination of using lasers and custom designed medicament trays, such as Perio TraysTM,  can be integrated into protocols allowing us to treat our patients more comprehensively while focusing on improving oral and whole-body health.  

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Treating TMJ with Dr. Grace Sun's PBM Mapping Technique

By Dr. Grace Sun

When treating TMD, it is important to recognize the TMJ as a part of a larger system. As dental professionals we are well suited to treat TMJ, as orofacial-and-dental components are major contributing factors to TMD. Before rendering tx, proper diagnosis is requisite. The TM joint is comprised of multiple components and requires a multi-disciplinary approach. Most TMD symptoms are of myofascial origin, treatment modalities for which can be addressed by a variety of multi-disciplinary approaches, including pharmaceuticals, PT, PBM light therapy, acupuncture and trigger point treatment.

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ALD Member Spotlight: Dr. Debra Occena Sablada

Dr. Debra Occena Sablada, Davao City, Philippines

I am an oral surgeon with a hospital-based practice, AND a certified peer lactation counsellor. I’ve been doing tongue and lip tie releases, among other procedures, for the past 20 years. Being based in a Third World country definitely poses challenges in terms of investing in lasers, being trained, and offering procedures as a viable option to my patients. However, I decided to go with the BEST treatment option for my patients, and not to worry about recouping investments and remunerations, and got my first laser, a 10W Diode Laser, in 2020.

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ALD Board of Directors Meet in Miami for first time in 3 years

By Gail Siminovsky, CAE, ALD Executive Director
The ALD Board of Directors met for the first time in 3 years in Miami, Florida at the Doubletree by Hilton Grand Biscayne Bay on July 29-30. Board members traveled from as far as Qatar, the United Kingdom, California, and Nantucket to plan ALD's strategic direction for 2023.


Key takeaways include:
  • ALD's 30th Anniversary Conference and Exhibition on April 21-22, 2023 in Dallas
  • Membership value for both practitioners and industry
  • The publication of a highly sought after Laser Safety Course to be launched digitally in the next quarter
  • 3 new international initiatives; ALD is expanding internationally with a first Chapter in the United Kingdom in affiliation with the British Academy of Implants and Restorative Dentistry (BAIRD), a Southeast Asian ALD Chapter by merging several study clubs in this region, plus a new opportunity for laser education in Taiwan


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UTHealth Advancing Laser Technology

ALD members, Dr. Juliana Barros and Dr. Shelly Patel of UTHealth Houston School of Dentistry , are advancing laser education through the Laser Learning Society. “We’re one of the few dental schools in the U.S. that teaches a full program in laser dentistry to our students,” said Barros. Find out more about their efforts in this article.


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ALD Senior Student Achievement Award 2022

The Academy of Laser Dentistry is proud to announce the recipients of the Student Achievement Award in the use of lasers to three outstanding senior dental students at accredited Dental Schools across the USA. These students have demonstrated greatest interest, knowledge, and aptitude in the field of laser dentistry.


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Meet the ALD Staff

You've probably interacted with ALD staff through email, social media, or by phone. If you missed the Member Orientation last month, where ALD staff introduced themselves, get to know them here.


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Laser Safety Officer

The Laser Safety Officer (LSO) is required if dental lasers are being used in the office. The LSO is assigned the responsibility for the office’s laser safety program. The Academy of Laser Dentistry’s "Laser Safety Manual for Safe Use of Dental Lasers" discusses the requirements and responsibilities of the LSO. It is important to review your facility’s procedures regarding your appointed LSO.


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COVID-19 Found Replicating in Oral Tissues

When Jeanette asked me to write an article for Lightwaves, I debated about the subject. I decided on this title since this is where we all live 24/7: the oral cavity. I wanted to make sure that my ALD Buddies didn’t start to slack off on their COVID-19 protocols, even though we have access to vaccines and many are relaxing their mask mandates. Nine people that I know that have been triple vaccinated have come down with the virus and one very seriously.


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Academy of Laser Dentistry Installs New President & Officers

Academy of Laser Dentistry Installs New President & Officers
During 2022 Annual Meeting
Sam Low, DDS, to Preside as ALD President from April 2022 to April 2023 

The Academy of Laser Dentistry is pleased to announce Sam Low, DDS, as its 34th President.  Dr. Low presides over the 14-member ALD Board of Directors that well represents esteemed members in industry, clinical practice, academia and professional organized dentistry. The Board is leading with education and clinical relevance for everyday uses of dental lasers.  


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Libya is the Newest ALD Study Club

The Chair of the new ALD Study Club in Libya, Dr. Ali Elmalih shares his experience and enthusiasm in holding the first ALD hands-on-training course for the club. Over the last year I worked with Dr. Walid Altayeb to make this happen. Last March we organized the first ALD course in Libya. By the way, it was the first professional laser course in the field of laser dentistry in the country! I’m very happy and proud that we have an ALD study club in Libya now.


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ALD Member Spotlight: Dr. Robin Horton

The Member Spotlight this month is on Dr. Robin Horton. Dr. Horton is a dentist based in Harpenden, United Kingdom where he runs a very busy practice, Wayside Dental Practice. In this member spotlight we find out how his enthusiasm for lasers started and why it continues, how lasers have benefitted his practice and his patients. Although not mentioned in the article, Dr. Horton is also an avid cyclist and will be taking on Mount Ventoux in Southern France in June! Photos shared below. Keep reading to get to know Dr. Horton. 


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Intraoral Fire Due to Lasers

It's been over 25 years since I became aware that a fire could occur intra-orally.  One of my mentors in implant dentistry shared a story of soldering titanium metal together with Nd:YAG laser. The patient died from a spark that ignited a high-flow oxygen from a nasal canula. Well, at the time I was not interested in dental lasers and felt this could not happen to me. Ten years later, I started doing IV sedation for the comfort of my patients. Going through my coursework, I was again introduced to fires created by an electro-surge. Working now with erbium lasers, I was aware that this laser created sparks. Ten years later, I started doing IV sedation for the comfort of my patients.  Going through my coursework, I was again introduced to fires created by an electro-surge. Working now with erbium lasers, I was aware that this laser created sparks.

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Dr. Gabi Kesler – A Man of Integrity and Love

Dr. Gabi Kesler passed on July 9, 2021, at his home in Tel Aviv, Israel, surrounded by his family.

Gabi Kesler, DMD, was installed as the 24th Academy of Laser Dentistry President (2016-2017) in Orlando, Florida, April 16, 2016. There have been many ALD leaders with steadfast dedication and energy for the Academy of Laser Dentistry, yet Gabi’s uniqueness was more evident than many leaders.  He loved the Academy and what ALD stands for. Gabi was soft spoken, of exceptional intelligence, and had a quiet way of leading. Gabi traveled from Tel Aviv to the US 3 or 4 times a year for ALD leadership meetings, spent hours on an airplane and away from his family for years and years, at his own expense.  His steadfast dedication to dentistry and to the ALD is remarkable, almost as remarkable as his dedication to his family, of which he spoke often. 

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Photobiomulation and the Opioid Crisis

In November 2019, as a member of the editorial board of Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, I was asked to write an editorial on the topic of Photobiomodulation Treatment (PBMT) as a possible answer to the opioid crisis. (1) I started using PBMT in my small-town dental practice in 1993 and have eliminated using post-operative opioid prescriptions ever since. In today’s world, you can’t open any newspaper without finding an article on the opioid crisis and so many of addictions started with people being prescribed opiates after dental treatments. In this article, I will discuss the problem and show how PBMT can be a big part of the solution.


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ALD Advocacy Activities

In May, ALD's advocacy projects for lasers in dentistry reached State Boards and OSHA with solutions to aerosol production that can occur in the dental environment. ALD also provided guidance on petitions and emails in support of Hygienists use of lasers in Florida. ALD will participate at the in-person workshop by the Florida State Board of Dentistry on May 21 in Orlando. The results follow.
Email to State Boards and OSHA State Agencies
  • Sent to 97 emails
  • Open rate: 49%
  • Click through rate: 57%
  • View the message here.

The Florida Petition for Laser Use by Dental Hygienists was submitted to the Florida Board of Dentistry office on May 5, 2021 in advance of the May 21, 2021 Laser Workshop meeting in Orlando when this board will address the rule before it regarding laser use by hygienists.
The petition was signed by 1,321 individuals and is sorted by:
  • FL Licensed Dentist (217 signers)
  • FL Licensed Dental Hygienists (777 signers)
  • FL Consumer (228 signers)
  • Dental Professional outside FL (38 signers)
  • Left box blank (61 signers)
The Florida email campaign had a final participation of 601 individuals who sent 603 emails (two individuals sent two emails)
Emailcollaboration with Florida Dental Hygiene Association
  • Sent to 2794 hygienists and dentists in the US
  • Open rate: 37%
  • Click through rate: 9%
  • View the message here.

Laser Physics Applied to Technique Increases ROI

By Aric Sven, Founder of Sventech

In this article we will shine some photons on the physics of lasers and how knowledge of this subject can improve the art of dentistry when applied to technique. There is no way I can cover all the various dental laser wavelengths in depth with a short article. However, I am hopeful this article will peak your interest in educating yourself past the presets on your laser’s control pad. Over the past 3 decades there have been many manufacturers with well-respected engineers bringing laser technology to our operatories. Articles on each wavelength have been written. There are many procedures that any given dental laser can perform and each has a niche depending upon its unique absorption characteristics in target tissues. To understand this we must have knowledge of the physics of each particular laser.

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