BIOLASE Technology's Waterlase MD laser system receives FDA marketing clearance

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BIOLASE Technology, Inc. (NASDAQ: BLTI), the world's leading dental laser company, today announced that it has received 510(k) clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to market its Waterlase MD™ laser system for removal of subgingival calculi to prevent and treat periodontitis, the greatest cause of tooth loss for adults over 35 and a condition impacting more than half of Americans over the age of 55, as reported by the American Academy of Periodontology (AAP).

Calculus removal is a critical procedure in successfully managing and treating periodontal disease. Cleaning the surface of the tooth's root is conventionally performed by scraping with a hand instrument or using ultrasonics. However, clinical studies indicate these methods can remove healthy tooth structure in the process. BIOLASE's patented YSGG laser energy used by the Waterlase MD gently removes unwanted calculus deposits while preserving healthy tooth structure. According to experts, this offers long-term benefits for sufferers of periodontal disease, because it controls inflammation and the disease without removing the healthy tissue required for regeneration and healing.

This new application of the Waterlase MD greatly enhances the recently-announced Deep Pocket Therapy with New Attachment™ using the BIOLASE-patented Radial Firing Perio Tips™ (RFPT), a minimally-invasive alternative to traditional, more invasive periodontal surgical treatment. Deep Pocket Therapy with New Attachment is the procedure where the Waterlase MD is applied to remove inflamed tissue and calculus deposits that lead to re-infection. This removal of calculus deposits prepares the surface of the tooth so that new attachment with the gums is possible. This is the final building block in a Total Periodontal Laser Solution from BIOLASE that is unique in dentistry.

"Deep Pocket Therapy with New Attachment is a whole new paradigm in the treatment of periodontal disease," said Dr. Bret Dyer, a periodontist in Sugar Land, TX and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Texas at Houston's Department of Periodontology. Dr. Dyer is the lead author of a soon-to-be-published clinical study supporting the long-term benefits of periodontal therapy with the Waterlase MD. Data in Dr. Dyer's study was reviewed by the FDA to provide this latest clearance. "In the past, periodontics has been focused on slowing the disease process down. With this procedure, we are now closer to reversing the disease than we have ever been."

Dyer continued, "As periodontal health is maintained over the course of patients' lives, most will have multiple occurrences of periodontal breakdown. In the past, doctors could only monitor those patients until they needed surgery. But now, if they start to have breakdowns, we can perform a breakthrough laser procedure with root surface calculus removal that actually reverses the breakdown process, so those patients can avoid more invasive periodontal surgery."

Dr. Mark Schlesinger, a periodontist in New York, NY, explained, "This not only enhances results in the hands of a periodontist using the Waterlase MD for regenerative procedures, it is also an alternative treatment for the general practitioner who is treating mild to moderate periodontal cases. Patients are also more likely to accept the treatment when they hear that it is minimally-invasive. Those who have had the treatment are getting positive results and avoiding the side effects that they have heard about from conventional treatment."

Dr. Dara Rosenberg, Director, Department of Dentistry for the General Practice Residency, St. Barnabas Hospital, in New York, NY, said, "This therapy changes the environment in the periodontal pocket through removal of inflamed tissue and root surface calculus to promote healthy tissue regeneration."

BIOLASE Chief Executive Officer David M. Mulder said, "This represents yet another significant increase in the day-to-day utility of the Waterlase MD in periodontal and generalist offices alike. Doctors using the Waterlase MD have already been getting more treatment acceptance and more patient referrals for their standard procedures. For specialists and generalists who want to do more, we offer a growing list of procedures to help their patients and their practices. Our recent efforts have been very focused on periodontal disease treatment and prevention. Periodontal disease is a growing problem in an aging population, and is now being linked to greater health concerns including cardiovascular disease. To address an aging population, we are very pleased to assist doctors in providing an efficient, effective, and more comfortable solution for treating periodontitis."

Feedback from patients has also been positive. A recent periodontal patient, who had been through several rounds of conventional periodontal surgery before having Deep Pocket Therapy with New Attachment, described his experience: "I had this procedure done about four days before Thanksgiving. I was concerned about recovery time, because I was having people over for the holiday. This procedure was a breeze. I had no problems, and no complications. It was a surprise that it took less time to do the procedure and less time to get over it. I had a great Thanksgiving dinner. I didn't have any pain whatsoever, and I'm kind of squeamish about dental appointments. I didn't even use the prescription for pain killers the doctor gave me. The procedure only took minutes. That was a pleasant surprise in itself."

The Waterlase MD system is marketed, sold and serviced to dental professionals by the Company's exclusive North American distribution partner and growing international partner Henry Schein, Inc. (NASDAQ: HSIC).

SOURCE: BIOLASE Technology, Inc.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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