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News and Announcements from ALD HQ RETURN TO LIGHTWAVES HOME




Jeanette Miranda, BSDH, RDH

Jeanette Miranda, BSDH, RDH
ALD Communications Chair


Welcome to a Spooktacular Lightwaves edition! We trust you have fallen back into a busy Autumn schedule. Please read through this edition, we have terrific information and articles. Dr. John Graeber shares how to treat aphthous ulcers and herpetic lesions.  Nick Clausen has Laser Safety tips on “Managing Non-Intended Laser Consequences”. Our Member Spotlight features Dr. Kathleen DiVito. Read about our very own executive director, Gail Siminovsky, and her prestigious award! The deadline for the Seidner Scholarship is quickly approaching, and we have all of the details. Doha is the location for the 2019 iLED conference, are you attending? The speakers and location for this international conference are top-notch. And finally, we are showcasing ALD’s 2020 Annual Conference in San Diego, California. If you enjoy the Links, we have a new event scheduled for this coming year’s event…GOLF. More details to be announced!


You and Your Patients are the Real Winners 

Ed Kusek, DDS

Gail Siminovsky, CAE
ALD Executive Director
Coral Springs, FL

Today, you and your patients are the future of laser dentistry. 

The Academy of Laser Dentistry believes patients and practitioners deserve the benefits of laser light therapies in everyday dental care. We are helping dentists and hygienists improve results and reduce discomfort in dentistry with laser technology for over two decades. 

Our mission is simple: ALD is committed to oral health through laser technology. ALD empowers clinicians with laser education. We know through 27 years of service that clinicians around the world are happier and more productive because of ALD. You and your patients are the real winners.  

The Academy of Laser Dentistry, its Board and staff are mission-focused on you, your education, your practice and your patient care. We inspire dentists and hygienists to improve their practice productivity, their care, and dentistry as a whole. With your dentistry, this transformation begins.

To guide the dental transformation, ALD is laser-focused in 5 key areas.

Annual Meeting Education, Certification, Laser Safety Officer Training
The upcoming ALD Annual Conference in San Diego promises keen innovation, ROI, laser workshops and technology symposiums. If you’re new to ALD’s meeting, receive CE credit in San Diego when you attend the educational sessions. It's a great city and ALD education is top-notch. Throughout the US and 11 affiliated chapters worldwide, ALD continues certification education for over 10,000 attendees and has certified over 6,000 dental professionals at the Standard and Advanced Levels. Why not consider how Advanced Certification can improve your ROI and production?  


ALD provides educational information to State Dental Regulatory Agencies and is readily available to assist members with regulatory questions. The website has Hygiene Use by State tables ready for download.

Research & Scholarship

Since its inception in 2004, the Dr. Eugene Seidner Student Scholarship has funded more than $90,000 to 34 students.  Since 2018, the inception of the Research Grants Program, ALD has awarded $36,000 in research grants to 4 scholars at 3 universities. We encourage 2020 applications for both. Seidner Student Scholarship applications are accepted until Oct. 31, 2019. Research grant applications are being accepted until Feb 1, 2020.

Where is the ALD globally?

Did you know that our main office is located in South Florida? ALD has affiliations in Algeria, Australia, Canada, Indonesia, Italy, New Zealand, the Philippines, Poland, Qatar, Tunisia, Turkey and soon adding on Singapore. Check out the International Chapters here.

Socially – Please help us help you by answering this 4-question survey. Your responses will help ALD continue to support you, represent your voice and improve dentistry.




Nicole Fortune, RDH, MBA

Kathleen DiVito, DDS
Private Practice
Largo, Florida

I began using a 980 diode laser in 2010 for the treatment of moderate periodontitis. Prior to that, I had attended multiple manufacturer-sponsored courses on lasers. However, it wasn’t until I took the ALD certification course at the 2012 ADA annual meeting that I really began using lasers on a regular basis. With the knowledge I received through this course, I was able to confidently offer more services to my patients. Knowing the HelpLine (now called the Laser Help Network) of laser experts was a phone call/ e-mail away, encouraged me to dive in. A colleague suggested I attend the ALD Annual meeting and my interest in laser dentistry took off!

PBM is the unclaimed treasure we have as a tool to help our patients with pain control and accelerate healing! Patients love it because it is non-invasive and has no side effects but mostly because it reduces or eliminates their pain. Treating muscle pain, apthous ulcers, and post-op pain is so rewarding. One patient called back within 90 minutes of being treated for neuropathy saying she was much better and called the procedure “a miracle.” The treatment parameters were recommended by Dr. Ross through the “Help Line!”

If you are interested in PBM, come to the ALD 2020 Annual Conference & Expo in San Diego, CA and take the courses given by Dr. Gerry Ross, Dr. Mel Burchman and Dr. Arun Darbar and check out the archived webinar by Dr. Ross. The Laser Help Network and Webinars are valuable member resources!

If you have a chance to hear Annette Quinn speak, you will understand how PBM significantly impacts the quality of life for cancer patients. I am so excited about the healing effects of PBM. I want to share PBM for Oral Mucositis (OM) with our local medical community for the benefit of cancer patients. 

Being a member of ALD has broadened the scope of my laser practice. ALD is the BEST resource of reliable, unbiased, worldwide, comprehensive cutting-edge knowledge of laser technology out there! Most of all, this is the only professional organization I have had the privilege of being a member where the experts in the fields are eager to share their knowledge and help you in any way. When attending an ALD Annual conference, sit with them during lunch or stop them in the hallway at the ALD meeting or send them an email. I have found they are always willing to help and new friendships are developed.

If you haven’t yet registered for the ALD Annual Meeting don’t miss your chance to attend it in San Diego, CA from April 2-4, 2020. It might just change your life and will tremendously benefit your patients!




The ALD Annual Conference and Exhibition has a 27-year history of providing the finest laser education in the world. ALD 2020 is continuing this tradition by providing today’s most relevant laser education tracks featuring the world’s finest instructors.

Wherever you are in your dental career, these education tracks will help you continue your journey towards:

  • Enhanced clinical proficiency
  • Improved patient outcomes
  • Increased practice revenue
Lectures: Endodontics, Periodontics, Pediatrics/TOTs, Esthetics, Medically Compromised Patients, Sleep Apnea, Pain Management, Hygiene, Financial Planning, Wealth Management, Legal Protection
Workshops: Diode Laser Basics, Advanced Diode Lasers, Endodontics, Photography, Whitening, Hygiene, Laser Proficiency Certification (Basic and Advanced)
New Trends: Photobiomodulation (PBM), 3-D Imaging, Green Dentistry. Smile Design, Caries Prevention, Periodontal Endoscopy, Adjunctive Modalities
View the Schedule at a Glance

Register Now


Deadline approaching: October 31, 2019


During the ALD 2019 in Dallas, TX, ALD honored Dr. Yujin Ohsugi with the Dr. Eugene Seidner Student Scholarship Award. Since inception, 25 students from all over the world have been honored. The program continues to flourish as academicians begin to champion laser education. 

Only three students are selected for the scholarship and will receive the following financial assistance:

  • Complimentary one-year membership to ALD
  • ALD Standard Proficiency Dental Laser course application fee waived
  • Complimentary full-conference registration to ALD 2020
  • Round-trip coach air transportation to ALD 2020 in San Diego, CA
  • Up to 5 hotel nights in the host hotel, Paradise Point Resort
  • Cash awards of $500 will be presented for first place; $250 for second place; and $100 for third place.

The program encourages undergraduate and graduate dental students in the different dental disciplines to deepen their knowledge of laser dentistry. It provides financial assistance that enables successful applicants to present their work at the Academy's annual conference.


Undergraduate dental students or graduate dental students in an accredited general or specialty program interested in deepening their understanding of the use of lasers in dentistry may apply.

Important steps for applying:

  • Complete Student Scholarship Application
  • Submit Abstract for Presentation
  • Provide Letter of Reference




Interdisciplinary Dentistry: Keeping Your Practice One Step Ahead! 

On behalf of the Academy of Laser Dentistry and the British Academy of Implant and Restorative Dentistry, we would like to invite you to participate in iLED 2019Conference to be held in Doha, Qatar from November 15-16, 2019.

The Conference will strive to offer plenty of networking opportunities to meet and interact with world experts, clinicians, scientists, researchers and colleagues as well as exhibitors.

An outstanding group of high profile speakers that will cover four aspects, Implant, Laser, Esthetic, and Digital dentistry.

We sincerely hope you can join us as partners in this exciting meeting and to gain as much as possible from this joint conference between ALD and BAIRD both scientifically and socially.

See you in Doha!

Register Now




ALD's Executive Director Awarded Executive of the Year!

ALD is proud to announce that Gail Siminovsky, CAE is honored by the Florida Society of Executive Directors (FSAE) as the 2019 Executive of the Year. This award recognizes Gail's leadership in ALD and her ongoing service as an active member of FSAE. The FSAE is the state organization that provides association executives and staff with resources, guidance, and a supportive community to help them grow and thrive in their careers. Read the full-featured article here.



Lori Alperin, Portsmouth, VA
Eric Anderson, West Des Moines, IA
Amber Auger, Waltham, MA
Todd Baker, Springboro, OH
David Beckman, Cleveland, OH
Amber Bekx, Kimberly, WI
Edward Bekx, Kimberly, WI
Jennifer Bell, Holly Springs, NC
Molly Brettin, North Oaks, MN
Autumn Brown, Omaha, NE
Keisha Brown, Raleigh, NC
Lisa Brum, Kimberly, WI
Steven Carroll, Portsmouth, VA
Dina Chehab, Bethesda, MD
Darin Chokdee, Omaha, NE
Elaine Coghlan, Bloomington, IN
Kasra Dabeshlim, Omaha, NE
Curtis Dean, Harrisburg, PA
Alyssa Delgado, Mankato, MN
Trella Dutton, Athens, AL
Heather Ebers, Campbell Hill, IL
Dina Elhout, Dearborn, MI
Emily Friedrich, Canal Winchester, OH
Dina Ghaly-Habib, Great Falls, VA
Whitney Haidet, Estero, FL
Joel Hamilton, Bloomsberg, PA
Steven Hatch, Forest, VA
Shaina Henriquez, Gainesville, FL
Julia Hill, Pataskala, OH
Cyndee Johnson, La Jolla, CA
Sai Kahm, Washington, DC
Puneeta Keer, Edgewater, MD
Andrew Koester, Carterville, IL
Lisa Landon, Kimberly, WI
Mary Llanas, Muskego, WI 53150, WI
Ashley Lockman, North Oaks, MN
Paola Lomba, Sioux Falls, SD
Andrea Machacek, Lakeville, MN
Melissa Mariani, Dublin, OH
Zachary Marshall, Waterford, WI
Sonya Moesle, Pataskala, OH
Christina Monford, Jacksonville, FL
Jeanny Nguyen, Omaha, NE
Jonathan Nguyen, Omaha, NE
Sarah Osborne, Omaha, NE
Manzi Oza, Thurmont, MD
Anand Parekh, Baltimore, MD
Jonathan Patrick, Kingwood, TX
Sarah Pitarra, Corpus Christi, TX
Ashley Place, Dublin, OH
Brent  Porter, Santa Cruz, CA
Heidi Pound, Bloomington, MN
Stephen A. Price, Burke, VA
Deborah Robinson-Akande, Chicago, IL
Laura Sandell, North Oaks, MN
Scott Sanderson, Madison, WI
Aditi Savla, Westerville, OH
Cherie Senger, Mason, OH
Naimisha Shah-Hoffman, Dublin, OH
Jeff Sharpe, West Des Moines, IA
Matthew Shaughnessy, Mondovi, WI
Elizabeth Shin, Bethesda, MD
Jennifer Shoemake, Carbondale, IL
Theresa Siemers, Northfield, MN
Leslie Smith, Omaha, NE
Daniella Sousou, Jacksonville, FL
Adetoun Soyombo, Milton Keynes, United Kingdom
Emily Strunk, Omaha, NE
Dexter Summerline, Vinings, GA
Michelle Thiel, Kimberly, WI
Dan Trittin, Waterford, WI
Popa Vanda, Bucharest, Romania
Corinne VanOsdel, Omaha, NE
Angel Velazquez, Coral Gables, FL
Brendan Vercammen, Myrtle Beach, SC
Jessica Weller, Lakeville, MN
Alali Yasser, Dearborn, MI
Jakob Zerr, Omaha, NE


Successful Protocol Strategies for Aphthous Ulcer and Herpetic Lesions

Larry Kotlow, DDS

John Graeber, DMD, MALD
Laser Educator

East Hanover, NJ


I am often questioned about the most successful regimens for the treatment of painful oral lesions. Adherence to very specific protocols will lead to consistent success. Failure to follow protocol often leads to unsuccessful outcomes. Primarily this is due to not applying energy for sufficient time.  

Make an accurate diagnosis

  • Question the patient as to the history of this particular lesion
    • i.e.: the history of recurrence, location, pain levels, medical history of auto-immune diseases, etc., history of previous prescription medications 

Objective testing

  • Such as running over the location of the lesion to determine borders with a slight irritant, cotton-tipped applicator or material applicator (especially during the prodromal stage of Herpetic lesions)


  • Setting the diode laser at an average power (approx. 1.0 w CW)
  • Explaining the treatment to the patient
  • If possible, use the handpiece without a disposable tip to increase the beam diameter (proportionately increase the power setting of the laser
  • Begin lasing at a distance that the patient can tolerate reasonably
    • Be sure to have a high-speed vacuum and air coolant across the lesion
    • While keeping the beam moving laterally over the lesion, Extend the beam to just beyond the borders of the lesion
    • Every 30 seconds, move the handpiece about 1 mm closer to the lesion
  • After completing 30 seconds of lasing at 1mm re-check with another irritating disposable instrument
    • If the patient does not feel any pain, the treatment is complete
    • If they feel some localized discomfort re-apply laser energy to that area for another 30 seconds

Getting paid

The best coding in the US is D 9110 – Palliative treatment for the relief of pain,
With a note: “Diagnosis  __________ treatment: diode laser"

Of course, good practice management would dictate perhaps considering providing this service free if it facilitates other treatments on the same appointment.  Generally, the treatment of these annoying lesions is one of the best practice builders.

Keep lasing!



Managing Non-Intended Laser Consequences

Nick Clausen

Nick Clausen
Las Vegas, NV

As laser users, you are well aware of all of the great clinical benefits of lasers. However, there are some potential safety concerns when using dental lasers all users must be aware of:

  • Eye Damage
  • Skin Damage
  • Non-Target/Collateral Damage
  • Non-Target Fire Damage
  • Plume Hazard
  • Fire
  • Mechanical

Each potential hazard listed above could be an article in itself to discuss all the proper measures like laser protective eyewear, proper high-volume evacuation (HVE) and the like. These are all critical areas of knowledge all users need to know. However, many times visiting offices, I see the most overlooked safety measure that can protect people from multiple potential laser hazards is Laser Control Areas or Hazard Zones. It is paramount that all laser users understand these key terms in order to protect themselves, the dental team and the patient.

Maximum Permissible Exposure (MPE)

The level of laser radiation to which an unprotected person may be exposed without adverse biological changes in the eye or skin.

Nominal Ocular Hazard Distance (NOHD)

The distance along the axis of the unobstructed beam from a laser, fiber end, or connector to the human eye beyond which the irradiance or radiant exposure does not exceed the applicable MPE.  Anyone within NOHD must wear protective eyewear.

Example of NOHD of SiroLaser Advance Plus 970 laser from DentsplySirona with NOHD of 1.5m

Nominal Hazard Zone  (NHZ)

The space within which the level of the direct, reflected or scattered radiation may exceed the applicable MPE. 

It should be noted that all lasers do NOT have the same NOHD, even if they are identical wavelengths and some lasers have dual wavelengths with different NOHD.  In addition, some lasers have different handpieces for the same wavelengths that may have different NOHD distances. For example, see the Fotona Lightwalker example below. 





So it is every Laser Safety Officers (LSO) responsibility to make sure these are all clearly noted and known by the entire team and communicated to all in the office to make sure all are safe. 

This is also a good time to discuss Laser signage.  Not only does the signage list out all the required information of the laser in use, it should be noted that the appropriate sign for the class of laser you are using as defined by ANSI is to be posted at every entryway to the operatory in which the laser is being used and that the sign should be taken down after the procedure is completed.

In case of significant adverse event or product problems, the dentist office LSO must complete an incident report. FDA encourages dental offices to voluntarily submit a report to the FDA.

The incident report must include:

  • Date of incident
  • Time of incident
  • Location of incident
  • Identification of laser involved and specifications used (wavelength(s), spot size, power, etc.)
  • Description of laser incident and action taken

All laser users led by the LSO must have the proper precautionary measures in place and be prepared for unintended consequences just in case of an adverse event.

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