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December 31, 2002 at 1:02 am #3199
Today while prepping w/ the Waterlase I finished #3 and went to prep #5 and all of a sudden no ‘popcorn sound’. Changed handpieces and tips, same thing. Fortunately, when we ordered a new fiber for the diode last week we were accidently sent a trunk fiber for the Waterlase. Changed the trunk fiber and we were back in business.
I was just wondering what the life expectency of the trunk fibers are and if there was anything I could be doing to prevent this?
ThanksDecember 31, 2002 at 2:16 am #9230
Interesting problem………I havent had anything go wrong with my fiber in 3 years.
Fibers are tough to make well and I will be interested to see what others experiences are.
GlennDecember 31, 2002 at 9:08 pm #9259
I began with the Waterlase in May 2001 and the trunk fiber blew about two weeks later. The second trunk fiber blew this summer while a Biolase technician was repairing my laser.
The technician told me that water left in the delivery system and corn starch from powdered gloves are enemies of the Waterlase. He said that I should purge all water from the delivery system after each usage. Also suggested keeping the laser out of sunlight when not in use. I have full wall windows in ops and he said this can heat up any water which remains in the system.
Personally, I theorize that contact with metal substrates like amalgam, PFM crown margins and old bases where you see “sparking” can damage the trunk fiber. We know for sure that this damages the sapphire tips.
Also, I stopped moving the Waterlase between my two main ops. We have now a “crown prep/laser/radiosurge” room and use the other op for simpler procedures and when it is not practical to use the laser, e.g. seat crown, amalgam “patch” of PFM crown margin on 95 yo female.
AlDecember 31, 2002 at 10:43 pm #9218
What did you notice while cutting the first prep? Then, what did you do between that one and the next? There are many reasons you can blow a fiber. I can help you there depending on what you observed. I haven’t (knock on wood) blown anything in a very long time. There are certain things I ALWAYS look for before starting procedures, and also on how you and/or your staff maintain the laser in between appointments, and inbetween days of use. That is why I wanted to start this particular thread/section. I KNOW it is part of the learning curve that we can change for everyone.
MarkDecember 31, 2002 at 11:56 pm #9193
We purge the system every night .
The unit is moved about 3 ft max at the beginning of the day.
I had finished prepping number 3 and stopped to talk to the patient about the next tooth we were going to restore. I had the handpiece in my hand the whole time.
When I stepped on the peddle to start up again there was water spray and air and a very faint pop corn sound , probably not even 1/10 the noise I usually hear at 5.25W
I changed tips , same thing. Next changed handpieces, same thing.
Next I activated the laser w/o water or air on 1.0W and moved it over my gloved hand and felt no heat. That’s when I guessed it must be the trunk fiber.
Any suggestions or recommendations are appreciated,January 1, 2003 at 1:48 am #9264
I’m the one who started the Maintenance thread! Look under General Erbium Discussion(page 2)/Usage Maintenance Tips.
Just kidding with you man, doesn’t matter who started what!
Please post what you have learned about maintaining your laser so that we can all learn.
AlJanuary 1, 2003 at 11:55 pm #9246
I lost two trunks during the first six months and then 6 months off. I lost a fiber about two weeks ago when water began to drip from the unit end of the trunk. The hand piece still worked but water everywhere. For the first two failures which were like Ron’s I have no idea what happened but it is possible we have since stopped some activities which were burning out the morrors etc. as Al suggests. Careful maintenance seems to be improtant but I am not yet sure what the keys to success are. My assistant follows the directions and I feel pretty dependent upon her ideal care. I do not do anything personally to maintain the equipment. Should I?
What did I learn Al? I had the two fiber trunks repaired at no cost to me and I now have two spares in the office so I can be back in business in 15 minutes. I called for a repair number and a new fiber arrived in my office as a replacement so now I am back to three trunks in the office. Being in the eastern time zone it took a day and one half for the new fiber to arrive. With only one fiber in the office you will be greatly inconvenienced or your patients will be grumbling about the SHOT and the DRILL while you wait for your new fiber.
PatFebruary 16, 2003 at 2:32 pm #9202
I do appreciate the maintenance thread. I do not own a laser, but am well aware of the value of proper care of our equipment.
If these things are very sensitive to movement, it sounds to me like a dedicated ‘laser room’ would be a very safe way to go?
GregFebruary 16, 2003 at 7:17 pm #9229
Greg: I honestly will say that I have had very very little worries about moving my laser from one room to the other. The Continuum Delight is really a sturdy machine. Now I am not so sure about other lasers, but from what I hear and read , not all the lasers are so easy to transport in a car, or move from room to room without worry.
I know someone who is a Biolase user who recently test drove the Continuum and he was astonished to see the unit come out of a car and be set up by his assistant and start up without hesitation.
I see from Mark Colonna’s posts that you must be very careful about certain things with the Biolase to preven the trunk fiber from frying out and others have mentioned to me that just movement of their laser from carpet to lino in their op with a little bump in between was enough to put their laser out of alignment.
The bottom line is this, check out what others are doing with the laser that you intend to purchase. I can only speak for ConBios Delight and tell you movement within reason is not a concern at all and if you want to move the laser ( I have done it a fair amount) you can without fear of damaging it.
Other people with Biolase and OpusDent can chip in here with their thoughts.
GlennFebruary 16, 2003 at 11:21 pm #9215
My 2 cents worth is this. The Waterlase seems to be a bit more sensitive to movement, BUT, I have 3 operatories, and 1 laser, and move it between patients everyday, all day. Just move is slowly, and kindly. I have not seen the alignment change in mine in over a year so far, and I use it 90% of my day on everything. (Biolase ought to use my laser in a study don’t you think? I use it so much). I still, like any other piece of EXPENSIVE equipment, treat it with kindness, and gentleness. It is a precision piece of equipment, like a good camera, and should be respected and treated that way. Ok, my 2 cents, American (Glenn!).
PS….my wife being out of town, I am getting my posts up eh?February 17, 2003 at 12:46 am #9192
Originally posted by Mark C.
you are right, Bob probably knows for sure. When you point a laser pointer at a reflective surface, what happens? The same HAS to happen to our wavelengths I would think. Energy is directed BACK into the tip, thereby ruining it. If we (Biolase users) still use the tip to finish, once it is “spoiled”, we can blow our fibers. What about your DeLight? Does that happen to your laser? The reason Biolase lasers blow trunk fibers when that happens is in the mirror in the end of the handpiece. The mirror becomes “blackend” and the laser engery then “overloads” the trunk fiber, and then WHAMMO, good bye!
Here is what the mirror looks like as you look through the end of the handpiece…
Here’s what it looks like after it’s “blacked” by using a spoiled tip….(hope I got these right!)
Hope this helps the Waterlase users! We should add this post to the Maintenance page Ron, can you do that?
Done!February 17, 2003 at 1:04 am #9201
So, with Delight, you don’t get the black spot?
How much did that little black spot on the mirror in your waterlase hanpiece cost to replace and were you able to do so chairside?
If a Waterlase user, wouldn’t the smart thing be to remove all amalgam with a handpiece first before doing anything to the prep with your laser handpiece?
GregFebruary 17, 2003 at 2:19 am #9211
First of all, the handpieces and delivery systems are different. The straight handpiece that Delight has, we don’t have yet, with Biolase, yet I think it will be avail soon. With the 90 degree delivery with the Biolase handpiece, the mirror inside is neccessary to reflect the laser wavelength through the tip to deliver the energy. You are absolutely right on with your assesment, remove the amal. first with the handpiece first, then sterilize, and finish with the laser. It works perfectly.
MarkFebruary 17, 2003 at 5:17 am #9237
Hi Greg: there are alot of similarities between the two machines, but there are some differences. Many people have mentioned the care they take with their Biolase unit to be careful and avoid blowing the trunk fiber.
I dont worry that much with Continuum and I have been using the same fiber for over 3 years and I am not really very kind sometimes.
I havent had to worry like others about my unit getting damaged but I hate having to replace the black tips as they are 50 bucks US or so.
GlennFebruary 17, 2003 at 4:19 pm #9243
If you have time I think it would be good to list here the steps you recommended at Dana Point for catching these handpiece and trunk problems before the trunk becomes totaled. I know we are now more careful about flushing the water tube completely before we change burs using 100% air and checking each handpiece as the pictures above suggest before we use them. Examining the tips for chips and cracks more carefully to reduce backflash. What else? You da man!