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Diodes a.k.a. “810-980” “Soft Tissue Lasers”


Diode lasers are a great entry point to get involved in laser dentistry. The price point has gone down and these lasers are quite affordable. They make procedures like frenectomies, venous lesions and gingival contouring quite easy due to the lasers great coagulation properties. This technology is also great for Hygienist to more proactively and efficiently treat periodontal disease due to the lasers great bactericidal and photobiomodulation properties. These lasers cost anywhere from $3,000 – $20,000 depending on features, fiber quality, internal mechanism and training and support.


  • Price Point cheap for CW & gated lasers
  • Coagulation Properties
  • Depth of Penetration for Perio Disease and use by Hygienist in most states
  • Some manufactures offer LLLT attachments
  • Lightweight & Small


  • Free Running Pulses (in micro & nana second durations) is expensive.
  • Some less expensive units may have fiber cleaving issues and brittle fibers.
  • Cost per use can be high for disposable tip option.
  • Potential for excessive heat and thermal necrosis if stagnant in movement or if power is too high.
  • Can be slow in fibrotic and light colored tissue.

Success Keys

  • Get a flush cleave on the fiber.  The better the cleave the better and more efficient the cut.  A bad cleave results in poor and inconsistent cutting.  Test cleave by shining the laser after the cleave 1-2 inches from a white surface.  The circle should be crisp and round with no hazing or “flares”.
  • The slower you move, the more efficient the diode is.
  • You must be VERY close to the target tissue for these lasers to work.  Imagine you were righting using an old feather and ink well.  You would have to be as close to the tissue to draw the ink.  However, if you apply pressure, the fiber will cut NOT the laser energy and will cause bleeding.
  • Your char should be light brown, not black.  If it is black your power settings are too high and thermal necrosis will cause scaring and post-operative pain.  If it is light brown you will have neither of these problems.
  • Try to use the least amount of power to attain your clinical objective.  Start at 0.7 Watts for vascular tissue ablations and power up if needed, but that is a good starting point.

Target Tissue Keys

  • These lasers interact with Hemoglobin and Melanin.  The more vascular and the darker the tissue the more effective they are. 
  • These lasers will be slower in light colored and fibrotic tissue