Dr. Eric Linden: An Innovator and Teacher of Laser Dentistry
Dr. Eric Linden, a Clinical Professor of Periodontics and Oral Medicine at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York, has become a specialist and teacher among Periodontists and other dental professionals in the use of lasers to treat gum disease, place and maintain dental implants, and related procedures.
Conventional Methods vs. the Laser
Many Periodontists treat gum disease surgically using scalpels and sutures. This modality can sometimes be painful and involve a lengthy recovery. About ten years ago, a type of laser protocol known as LANAP™ (Laser-Assisted New Attachment Procedure), was introduced. In most cases, LANAP™ allows the specially trained Periodontist to treat gum disease without invasive cutting and stitching.
Dr. Linden was one of the first Periodontists to utilize this laser technology. After applying traditional surgical techniques for over twenty years, he was so impressed with his successful clinical results and positive experiences for his patients treated with the laser that he replaced or supplemented conventional surgery with LANAP™ in the majority of his cases. Realizing the significance of dental laser surgery compared to traditional gum surgery for gum disease and dental implants, Dr. Linden investigated and implemented the use of additional lasers.
Different Lasers for Different Procedures
There are a variety of dental lasers. They include:
- ND/YAG, the kind used in LANAP™
- Erbium laser
- CO2 laser
- Diode laser
Many dental professionals who use a laser for gum surgery use LANAP™, however Dr. Linden has incorporated four different types of lasers in his Manhattan and New Jersey periodontal practice. Each laser has a specific effect and application. According to Dr. Linden, “Often, the key to a successful periodontal and implant treatment outcome is to use the appropriate laser, based on a thorough evaluation and clinical diagnosis.” When a patient presents with a periodontal/implant/soft tissue problem, Dr. Linden can customize and fine-tune the treatment and choose the appropriate and most effective laser for the best clinical outcome.
Benefits from the use of various lasers include treatment for the following:
- cosmetic gum reshaping,
- gum de-pigmentation,
- periodontal disease,
- bone loss,
- pocket reduction,
- gum (soft tissue) disease,
- aiding placement and repairing bone loss around implants,
- achieving bone regeneration,
- site preservation during extractions for ridge preservation and future dental implant sites, and
- oral pathology (biopsies).
Additional benefits of using different wavelength lasers include:
- pain management,
- maintaining current patient medication regimens,
- minimal down time,
- accelerated healing response,
- no post-op bleeding, and
- minimal post-op swelling and pain.
Teaching and Clinical Instruction
In 2012, Dr. Eric Linden was appointed Clinical Professor in Dental Medicine at Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in New York, where he teaches both traditional and laser surgical approaches to the post graduate periodontal and implant residents.
Dr. Linden currently lectures at universities, dental meetings, and symposia around the country. Additionally, Dr. Linden teaches the principles of laser physics, laser periodontal surgery, and practice management to groups of dentists from places such as Japan, Australia, Canada, and the US.
Dr. Eric Linden, a Certified Laser Instructor with the Institute of Advanced Laser Dentistry is currently researching new treatment protocols with various lasers.