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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2021 - A Year to Lift Each Other Up

By Gail Siminovsky, CAE - ALD Executive Director

I hope you are all safe and well. For me and my family, we are well and leaning on one another with love and support. I became a new grandma on January 3 with the arrival of my grandson, so all is good when we can celebrate life. I approach every day with a positive outlook. My day starts very early with quiet thinking about how I can spread joy and be helpful to you and the ALD community. Lifting each other up in ways that help our patients and help each other is ALD’s focus for 2021. I invite you to JOIN US as we all experience new ways to communicate, learn, live, care, and spread love in our world.

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Message from ALD President Dr. Ed Kusek – 2020 what a year!

By Ed Kusek, DDS

What a year to forget! 2020 started with hope and enthusiasm. The ALD had a successful annual meeting in Dallas during 2019. Financially, we seemed to get back on track from a down year’s annual meeting in 2018. We all heard of some virus in China and thought, aww, nothing to worry about. Then March came around and everything we took for granted was completely shaken. Many closed their practices to figure out how, if, and when we could treat patients again. The ALD annual meeting needed to be canceled. Financially, how was this going to affect the Academy and more specifically, our practices?

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Laser ROI Series: How Knowledge of Laser Safety Improves ROI

By Aric Sven and Moriah Sven

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Laser Education Return on Investment (ROI) Series - Part I

By Aric Sven and Moriah Sven

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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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