JUNEAU – The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Children’s Dental Clinic now provides state-of-the-art laser surgery using the LightScalpel CO2 laser for oral surgery procedures. The laser replaces instruments that would have bruised or crushed tissue causing lengthy, uncomfortable recovery periods as well as scarring.

The FDA approved, American-made LightScalpel is for soft-tissue surgical procedures like tongue- and lip-tie revisions, gum recontouring, and biopsies. Its many benefits to SEARHC pediatric patients include little or no bleeding, less post-operative swelling and discomfort, less scarring, a lower risk of infection, shortened procedure times, and a smooth recovery. In fact, nursing mothers are actually able to breastfeed their baby immediately after the child’s tongue- and lip-tie revision procedure illustrating the gentleness of the LightScalpel laser on the most sensitive mouths.

Photo of smiling SEARHC dentistry team.

Pictured SEARHC Pediatric Dental Team (L to R): Dr. Joe Jackson, Karla Burke, Dr. Kim Hort, Taylor Hyde, Dr. Martha Truncale (Not pictured: Dr. Lauren Sanzone, Nina Tonsgard)

SEARHC pediatric dentist, Dr. Kim Hort said, “Dr. Jackson and I first used the LightScalpel at a hands-on continuing education course in Boston. We were so impressed with the ease of operation and the reduced procedure times that we wanted to share this with our patients. Now that we are using the CO2 laser in our Juneau clinic, our dental providers and patients have been just as impressed as we were with the results. The addition of the LightScalpel is another example of our dental program’s focus on bringing advanced technology to our patients so that we can make procedures easier and less invasive. Procedures that were previously deferred or required sedation can now be completed quickly and easily in our clinic. The investment opens new doors for our patients.”

There is so little trauma to the tissue because the laser produces an extremely concentrated and focused beam of light that cleanly and precisely vaporizes the tissue, while simultaneously sealing blood vessels. It is so precise that it can selectively remove only a few cells at a time if necessary.

We are ecstatic to provide state-of-the-art oral surgery to our youngest dental patients,” said SEARHC President and CEO, Charles Clement. He added, “Not only is SEARHC providing outstanding care but can do so with the least discomfort both during and after dental procedures. As a parent, I am keenly aware of how important it is for kids to have a positive experience during dental visits and how those experiences color their perceptions for a lifetime.”Parents in Juneau or anywhere in Southeast Alaska that would like to explore the option of laser oral surgery for their child is encouraged to visit searhc.org/service/childrens-dental-clinic or call (907) 789-KIDS (5437) to make an appointment for their child.