Water spray is a significant factor in aerosolization and the spread of harmful viruses, such as the common cold and influenza viruses, herpes viruses, pathogenic streptococci and staphylococci, and others. Most drills utilize one to four water ports driven by the air pressure of ~38 psi and water flow of ~30 -60 ml/min (Cavalcanti 2005). Solea utilizes air pressure as low as 10 psi and water flow as low as 10 ml/min, which is 74% less air pressure and 67-83% less water flow than drills. Based on these factors, the risk of aerosolization and transmission of viruses, including COVID-19 is significantly lower with Solea than the drill.
Solea vaporizes tooth structure using thermal energy, as opposed to the mechanical process of conventional drills. During laser treatment, the tooth’s surface temperature reaches more than 1,200 degrees celsius without transferring heat to the surrounding tissues. Bacteria and viruses are destroyed at temperatures above 60 degrees celsius, which, by definition, means Solea kills any virus or bacteria with which the beam comes in contact. Research conducted with Solea related to the treatment of peri-implantitis validates this claim. In contrast, when using a drill, surface temperatures increase by only 11 degrees Celsius, allowing bacteria and viruses to survive. Furthermore, a drill cuts by mechanical means with a bur rotating up to 400,000 RPM, which, according to several studies, can project material more than 18 inches outside of the oral cavity.
Asa CO2 laser, Solea has inherent hemostatic properties (Olivi 2009), (Niemz 2003) and delivers energy that serves as a sterilizing agent by eliminating bacteria and viruses. Both in – vitro (Ando 1996) and in vivo clinical studies (Miyazaki 2003) have demonstrated that bacteria reduction happens at tissue temperatures starting at 50 degrees Celsius (Russell 2003). This is extremely important for treating periodontal disease and peri-implantitis, where the pocket harbors millions of bacteria and viruses. Lasers have been widely used in such applications and have a history of successful performance.
We believe reduced aerosolization of water spray and increased viral & bacterial decontamination over that of mechanical drills make Solea a safer option for dental practitioners in a post-COVID environment.