LiteTouch laser system, by Israel’s Syneron Dental, replaces the dreaded drill and first-generation lasers with a lighter-weight, easier-to-use device
By David Halevi
Laser technology has made visits to the dentist much easier for patients to face. But working with a laser drill is almost as difficult for dentists as working with a traditional turbine drill, due to its unwieldy wired optic fibers and unfamiliar feel.
To help dentists out, Syneron Dental Lasers of Yokneam, Israel, has developed an innovative wireless system “that has played a pivotal role in transforming the way practitioners perform dental treatments today,” says company president Ira Prigat.
“Just as the mobile phone freed the world from wires, so has the LiteTouch freed dentists from the use of traditional tools as well as bulky optic fibers, making laser dentistry completely portable.”
The LiteTouch, a powerful and versatile Erbium:YAG laser, allows dentists to more easily manipulate the laser without the bulk and hassle of wires. The device also does away with the fibers that, in other systems, need to be directed very carefully.
And because the LiteTouch sounds, acts and feels like a turbine drill -- although a far lighter version, and without the accompanying pain for patients -- dentists have a quick learning curve.
“With LiteTouch, the concept is to actually imitate the turbine drill,” says Prigat. “Dental education includes the use of the turbine drill, so dentists know what a turbine drill is and manufacturers of dental lasers do not want to reeducate them. We want to give them a device that they can hold in their hand and that they can immediately start working with, and LiteTouch gives them precisely that.”
Lightweight and energy efficient
The LiteTouch has other benefits as well – like saving energy. In a traditional laser system, the laser beam weakens by 25-40 percent as it’s transmitted along the optic fiber.
Eliminating the fibers also gets rid of a fragile, breakable and expensive delivery system and special operating procedures that slow dentists down.
Plus, the LiteTouch is the smallest device in the industry, weighing 20 kilograms (44 pounds), compared to devices commonly weighing 60-70 kilograms. Thus, it also significantly reduces typical occupational health discomfort experienced with old-generation lasers, such as hand and shoulder pain.
Syneron Dental Lasers was established in 2005 as a wholly owned subsidiary of Syneron Medical, well-known for its innovations in the non-invasive aesthetic device market. The LiteTouch, commercially available since 2007, has EU and FDA approval. It has proven superior clinical results, such as less pain and faster healing, according to numerous studies the company has conducted.
As a result, patient retention and growth rates are significantly better for practices that use the LiteTouch, Prigat says. It is quite popular among dentists in several European and Asian countries, and outsells all other Er:YAG systems in Germany, he adds.
Synernon Dental shows no signs of slowing down. Last September, the company was named one of the 10 fastest-growing in Israel in Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50, which lists companies by revenue growth percentage over five years.
Prigat expects that growth to continue. LiteTouch is finally fulfilling the promise that the industry gave to dentists,” he says, “that a laser can change their dental life.”