fbpx
Skip to main content

Podcast Ep. 70: Advancing Laser Therapy in Dentistry with Dr. Eric Block

laser light show

Dr. Chad Woolner: What’s going on everybody, Dr. Chad Woolner here with Dr. Andrew Wells. And on today’s episode of the laser light show we have with us a special guest, Dr. Eric Block. We’re so excited to chat with him. So let’s get started.

 

Transcript

Speakers: 

Dr. Andrew Wells

Dr. Chad Woolner

Dr. Eric Block

Dr. Chad Woolner: Growing up in Portland, Oregon, I used to love going to laser light shows at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, they would put on these amazing light shows with incredible designs synced up to some of my favorite music from the Beatles to Pink Floyd to Jimi Hendrix and Metallica. They were awesome. Little did I know then that lasers would have such a profound effect in my life decades later. As a chiropractic physician, I’ve seen firsthand just how powerful laser therapy is at helping patients struggling with a wide range of health problems, as the leader in laser therapy, or Konya has pioneered the field in obtaining 20 of the 23 total FDA clearances for therapeutic application of lasers. On this podcast, we’ll explore the science and technology and physiology behind what makes these tools so powerful. Join me as we explore low level laser therapy. I’m Dr. Chad Woolner, along with my good friend, Dr. Andrew Wells, and welcome to the laser light show. All right, everybody. Welcome to the show. And a special welcome to our guest, Dr. Eric Block. Thank you so much for being here, my friend. Good to have you.

Discover Relief Today: Uncover the Science of Laser Therapy for Pain and find out The Science Behind the Effective Treatment

Dr. Eric Block: Pleasure. Thanks for having me, guys.

Dr. Chad Woolner: You bet. So, Dr. Block, you are a dentist, is that correct?

Dr. Eric Block: I am a dentist. I live in practice about 30 minutes west of Boston. And I’ve been practicing for about 20 years. Fantastic.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah. Tell us a little bit about your story of how you got started with Erchonia? Because I think for a lot of practitioners, or at least myself, we’re pretty used to hearing chiropractors, even medical doctors. But dentists are as though dentists are just starting to kind of get into this realm of Erchonia lasers. How did that happen for you?

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, so I’m the vice chairman of medical and dental for all tech industries. And we’re all about clean energy and kind of a greener living and also reducing addiction to pain medications within the medical medical community. And that’s where konia just seemed like a perfect fit. And I started doing more research into it and just very recently added it to my practice, as a dentist. Now, as a dentist, this is a new treatment modality for me. And for a lot of dentists. When you think of lasers in dentistry, it’s more of a cut and cauterize action where you’re actually cutting soft tissue, or you’re cutting bone or even some lasers even cut to structure. So this is a very different type of laser, the low level light laser, so I’m excited to start to use it. For my patients, I do a lot of surgeries, extractions and implants. So I’m going to use it post op surgery, I do see patients that come in for TMJ pain, and that’s really just going to be the beginning, I’m going to start to plant the seeds and start using it as much as I can. And, you know, some great advice that I got from David here to draconian was, don’t be afraid to use it, you know, I’m gonna start using it as much as possible, but it’s a very new treatment modality for me as a dentist.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, I would imagine exactly what you said, I would imagine that we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface of the applications in just the dental realm, you know, knowing what we know, and seeing what we see with these lasers in terms of the applications. You know, we had a conversation with a great dentist, Dr. Dr. Radford down in California, and he was talking about, you know, already using it for TMJ pain and TMJ issues he was talking about, you know, kind of the the musculoskeletal conditions, but he also was starting to just beginning to explore the potential use for sleep apnea type problems and things like that. What would you say are some of the things right now, in your mind that you’re going towards that you could see in terms of some of these applications?

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, so all the things that you just mentioned, for sure. But I want to go back a little bit earlier in my career. And, you know, you too, may have experienced this as well. And I know a lot of dentists and fidget physicians and I’m hearing a lot about veterinarians as well. Maybe chiropractors as well, but I went through a tremendous amount of burnout. Halfway through my career. I actually was so full of anxiety and stress, and I actually thought about Lee in dentistry, I was just so afraid of getting sued, I was so afraid of getting a bad review. You know, in school, we were taught to be perfect. And if you had a less than perfect results, then, you know, that was looked down upon. And it was really just me, you know, putting too much pressure on myself. So I ended up calling a local therapist and I started going through therapy. And I really just learned that I was putting too much pressure on myself. I was saying yes to everyone and everything else and not saying yes to myself. So I started to make some major changes, and really started to focus on the good things that happened during the day and not the one or two bad things that happened during the day. And this took a while. And it was also a combination of some prescribed medications that have really helped me. But I got through burnout, and I was able to overcome it. And I actually wrote a book called The stress free dentist. And I feel like adding a new treatment modality like this is re-energizing. When you’re doing the same old thing over and over again, you can get burned out, which is a one way ticket to burnout city. So for example, this year, I started adding sleep and airway to my practice. Last year, I added clear aligners, I added a 3d printer, we added the same day mil I’m excited about these things, I go into work excited. And adding low level laser therapy to me is like this brand new treatment modality that I’ve yet even to just scratch the surface of so I’m excited about it. I’m looking forward to try it on all those things that you mentioned. So that’s kind of where I am today. And I just wanted to share that.

Dr. Chad Woolner: No, I’m glad you did share that. First off. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of dentists being burnt out before every other dentist we’ve ever talked to says life is just peaches. And no. No totally can understand and appreciate that. That’s I think that’s a common sentiment across a lot of healthcare professionals is I think most that are listening, any healthcare professional can completely appreciate and I’m sure that resonates that it can create a tremendous amount of stress you got into your profession, regardless of whether you’re a dentist, medical doctor, acupuncturist, chiropractor, physical therapist, we all got into it with the same intent and reason and that is to help serve people. And I would just simply point out and I’m sure you’ve probably connected these dots. It’s not surprising that you feel an invigoration and re-energizing and or renewed sense of passion and purpose. When you’re investing in these technologies. It’s it’s cool, and the technology is great. But when you step back and look at what you’re doing, what you’re doing is you’re doing this with the intent to help better serve. You’re looking for strategies and solutions to help patients better solve problems. And no doubt what it’s doing. And the reason why you’re being invigorated and re-energized is because it’s helping you better help them. And that’s that’s extremely rewarding. That’s That’s my guess. And I’m assuming you’ve kind of connected those dots yourself. Correct?

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, I’m also what I learned, you know, I thought there was something wrong with me and you know, going through therapy and coach and I still have a coach. And I, I was a psychology major at Tulane. And I knew I’d always wanted to go through therapy. And I finally just said, You know what, you can’t go into work miserable every day and looking forward to the weekend. So you can decompress from the week, or looking forward to five o’clock, so you could go home. And there was a point where I couldn’t wait until lunch. So I could go home and decompress for an hour. I said, There’s no way you can live like this. So I always want to go through therapy, and I finally picked up the phone and did it. And what I learned is that I’m more of an introverted person. Even though I have podcasts, and I speak and do webinars, I decompress and kind of re-energize myself by being quiet and being alone. Whereas the the social nature of the profession was a grind to me where if you think about it, no one wants a sad, tired dentist working on them, you’ve always got to kind of be on and you know, be in a good mood. And you got to give that patient that great experience. You know why? So they’ll come back and they’ll tell their friends and family and you treat them well. And that’s how you snowball and pretty great practice. But doing this over and over and over again throughout the day was just exhausting to me. So I realized that that’s the way I tick, you know, there’s nothing wrong with me. There’s going to be days where I’m, you know, totally exhausted. But I understand that. This is the profession that I’ve chosen. It is a high-stress profession. And one of the ways to avoid burnout is to do start to, you know, add new items to your menu. If you’re just doing it, like I said, the same old thing, you’re gonna, you’re gonna burn out also, the nature of the profession is very physically taxing. You know, when you’re leaning over and you’re in a weird position for a half an hour, and you’re staring at this one-millimeter space, you’re gonna have sharp things and drills and needles in a patient’s mouth. Over the course of a career, you can create a lot of neck and back pain. So I think that one first step for dentists to get involved with laser with their cornea is to use it on themselves. But the other thing is that when you provide this treatment for a patient, it’s not a backbreaking treatment, you can, you know, set it up on a stand, you can delegate it, or you can stand there and use it yourself. It’s such a great, you know, different type of treatment than we’re used to with doing fillings and crowns all day.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, boy, you touched on a lot of stuff there, right? I think a lot of dentists have great relationships with chiropractors, both Andrew and myself are our chiropractors. And no doubt, I couldn’t imagine. I mean, chiropractors themselves put a lot of wear and tear on their bodies, adjusting patients. similar but different in terms of the type of wear and tear dentists, exactly what you said it’s that hunched over, you can’t really avoid it, I think you could go to, you know, an infinite number of ergonomic seminars out there. But at the end of the day, you got to do what you got to do in terms of being hunched over a patient to get inside their mouth. And so no doubt that’s going to take its toll. And so you’re exactly right. Is that kind of how you first came in touch with Erchonia and started using it yourself.

Dr. Eric Block: Actually, I just wanted to jump back to what you’re saying a total game-changer for me, has been I actually removed the chairs from my office and my operatories. So I stand now like it’s the 1920s today, and that has been a game-changer. For me, you know, they say that sitting is like smoking. Yeah, I, I believe it because I used to have a, you know, I used to be hunched over and timid, which is silly, I would not want to bother, the patient has to move their head around. So I would compensate and lean over, where now I stand. And I totally direct the patient exactly where I need them to go. Because they’re only holding that position, you know, for a few minutes where I’ve held that position for 30 years, so I don’t compensate on that any more and more direct. I also use an isolation device that helps keep the mouth open and retract the lips and cheek. So there’s, there’s certain things that I’ve done that have really made my neck and back pain go down to you know, minimal, you know, twitches here and there. Having said that, I wish I knew about the Erchonia laser, you know, years ago because I would have been using it on myself. But I do use it for my trapezius, which do get tight. But the changes that I’ve made have been a total game-changer for my for my for my physical health, which if you think about it, if you’re physically in pain, then you’re mentally in pain too. No one that is having physical pain is a happy camper. So it really can affect your, you know, your mental status, too.

Dr. Andrew Wells: Yeah. Maybe Dr. Block, take us through how you’re actually using it on a day-to-day basis lasers in practice, like what lasers? Do you use other certain procedures you use them for? What does that? What does that kind of day-to-day use look like?

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, so I just got mine. And that’s why I’m really excited about it. It’s been maybe a few weeks since I have it. And with what I’ve learned in dentistry and a business owner, I have a staff of about 25 I have to take things slow. I’ve done this in the past where I’ve tried to crowbar in, you know, something new, and I was the only one excited about it. And, you know, no one else was and I got a lot of pushback from everyone. So now I’m slowly introducing this. And I really think that 2024 will be my year to really accelerate my use of the laser but I do a lot of implants and surgeries and extractions. So I use it for post-op reduction of discomfort and anti-inflammatory and then I’ll see the patient you know, week or two later for their post-op and use it again. And then also which it sounds funny, but I’ve used it twice on a patient with, you know, one patient with tennis elbow, and another patient with golf elbow. And you know a lot of times dentists we become like a patient’s, you know, therapists they, they’re just having someone to talk to right. Sure chiropractor is the same way. So They start to tell you all of their problems. And I’ve had two people talking about, oh, you know, I’ve had this, you know, golf elbow or tennis elbow, and I’m like, I’ve got just the thing for you. So, you know, I’ll use it on their, their elbow, and they’re telling their, you know, their spouse, that they’re going back for a second treatment for their elbow at the dentist, and like your dentist is doing. Mostly, really just starting out, or they start to plant those seeds, I’m going to start to use it on my staff. That’s a huge thing when you when you add something new, use it on your staff and their families, and there’ll be your biggest cheerleaders. And then that starts to spill over into the practice. I have about 4500 active patients, so they’re there, I don’t even need to mark it for yet. It all be internal. So most of my use of it right now has been post-op for surgeries. And I’m waiting, you know, for some TMJ cases to come in. And the occasional elbow issue.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, boy couldn’t agree more with you with exactly what you’re saying. In fact, that’s what we teach Docs all the time. And I think I have to imagine most Docs can totally relate, you hit something nail on the head, that what can happen and I hope Docs recognize this kind of pattern that you clearly recognized, is you get excited about something and what you want is immediate implementation of that thing, whatever it is, you use the analogy of crowbar and get in, right? And, and that’s so important that you need, and that ties hand in hand with exactly what you just said, in terms of using these things on your team. There has to be adoption and belief and buy in from the team. And that makes such perfect sense. And that’s exactly what I saw in my practice. When we started using lasers. In our practice was that very thing. I’m curious, which laser are you currently using in your practice Dr. Block,

Dr. Eric Block: I have the handheld, the red and the ultraviolet laser. And it’s amazing how many settings it already had for certain things such as gingivitis and gum disease and post-op for surgery already in there. So you know, I imagine, you know, the more I use it, the more situations that we can figure out its use for and it will just, you know, keep increasing those, those protocols. Yeah. And another thing I wanted to mention is, with something like a laser, as well as sleep and airway treatment, which I’ve started, it can really kind of bring different medical communities together, we can bring the chiropractor, the dentist and the physician together the EMT, I think it creates more of a collaborative opportunity where, you know, I don’t really know many physicians in my, my town or my neighborhood, maybe this is a way where I could start to meet them, we could start to have collaborative cases with patients. So I think it’s just going to snowball and just continue. So like I’ve, like I’ve said I’m super excited about it.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, what a great point that that that is I think, at the end of the day, what you’re talking about there the patient is the ultimate person who will benefit from that type of collaboration that I think any patients listening this would would say a big Amen, I think patients want their healthcare team communicating and on some level or another being on the same page having a certain level of mutual understanding and or mutual respect. I think it’s unfortunate that sometimes we see whether intentional or unintentional, certain practitioners kind of getting a little bit territorial and or my way is the best. No other way is as good as mine and what you’re saying there is so, so necessary and so needed.

Dr. Andrew Wells: One thing I wanted to pick up on too and I love your point about collaboration. And the unique thing about lasers is this is one modality that can be used across every single health profession. It doesn’t matter if you’re in mental healthcare if you’re a psych psychiatrist, psychologist, chiropractor, physical therapist, dentist, surgeon, veterinarian. We have had quite a few veterinarians on the podcast in the past and are coming up with acupuncturist lasers that have so many applications for so many different things. This is kind of a common denominator or a common tool that I should say that can be used across and should be used across every healthcare profession. And I think that’s actually a really brilliant way to start making more collaborative relationships with providers because our it’s a huge complaint that patients have is hey, my, my doc doesn’t talk to my other doc. And there’s no communication. This is, you know, could be a potential way to start conversations. And late there’s something about a laser, there’s, there’s a lot of curiosity around this. This device I was having one of our friends was over for, brought his boys over to play in our house and I was lasering my leg, he’s like, What is that thing? Oh my god. So laser, he’s like, what was it do I’m like, it’s kind of explaining how it works. And he’s like, you know, my back hurts, I’m like, pull up your shirt, I’m gonna lose your back. He’s like, all right. And it’s just, it just, it’s a great way to start a conversation, I think in healthcare, we’re patients and providers alike are dying for meaningful collaboration and just convert at the very least conversation.

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, there’s a wow factor to it, where, when you pull up that laser, and you show a patient, or you show your staff, there’s the absolute wow factor, and show it off. I mean, if you don’t show it to people, they don’t, they don’t know about it, and they won’t know that you have it. It is going to be such a great, you know, extra treatment that we add, and, you know, once I get going, I’m going to market it. And it’s it’s, you know, with organic SEO, and on my website, that’s the thing about when you get a new piece of technology, you know, show it off. I’m actually going to use it and not charge patients at first, just to kind of build up my, my cases and my testimonials. And then once I start to get some cases under my belt, then I’m gonna figure out a package where I, you know, have patients come in, you know, five times to 10 times were actually charged for it. And that’s the other thing, it’s a, it’s a nice procedure, you’re providing for a patient that you can, you can bill out, it’s another source of revenue, and, you know, dentists are coming out with, you know, four to $500,000 worth of debt, you know, and they’re worried, you know, how they’re going to pay their loans and their bills. And this is just an extra, you know, really cool thing. And when you buy, when you get something new, you have to use it, you know, I’ve heard of so many people buying, you know, expensive technology, and then it just becomes a dust collector, or they hang up their scrubs on it, you’ve got to use it, you know, if if you buy something, and it’s not working out for you, you know, shame on you for not using it or not getting the help from the company, Erchonia has so much great research out there so much great customer service, they’re there for you. But you got to use it, and you got to show it off and let your patients know that you have it.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah, I couldn’t agree more. And the thing that I would say that’s beautiful about akoni lasers is, and I’m sure you appreciate this edit as a dentist is that so many of the things that you do in dentistry have hard costs associated with them. And that can be a challenge, no doubt, you know, in terms of running a business that way, when you have to factor in hard costs. With these lasers, you invest in the laser, and then moving forward, there aren’t any hard costs associated with utilizing said laser. And so from, from a financial standpoint, that’s kind of nice, because that’s just pure profit moving forward, when when you’re utilizing that, and that’s a that’s a that’s a and also just the fact that you know that this is something that you can utilize to better help serve your patients and provide yet again, another solution for them. So so yeah.

Dr. Eric Block: Yeah, yep, I’m gonna, I’m going to be using it on myself and my staff and their families at first. And, you know, that’s, that’s how you that’s how you grow a new treatment modality in your practice. It starts there. And once you if you treat a staff member, or their family member and you help them with pain, they will jump into that operatory and be excited to tell your patients about it. And it’ll just it’ll just blow up like wildfire.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Yeah. Absolutely. Super excited. Yeah, no doubt. Well, Dr. Block, we sure appreciate you being here on the show with us. We appreciate you sharing your experiences. We’re excited for you getting started here. Dr. Wells, any final thoughts?

Dr. Andrew Wells: Thanks, Dr. Block for being on here. We really appreciate you sharing your insights as you’re starting to incorporate Erchonia lasers into your practice. And I think what you’re doing in dentistry, and kind of, I would say leading the charge I don’t know of any other dentists I know. And I should say a handful of dentists that are doing this and no doubt 10 years down the road, we’ll have a lot more dentists use utilizing lasers for all the right reasons and all the reasons that you mentioned. And we just really appreciate you taking the time to explain your experiences so far, and we wish you all the best and happy to hear that you’re you’ve made an awesome transformation in practice and no doubt you have a really bright career ahead of you and post burnout face so we’re happy for you for that, for sure.

Dr. Eric Block: Thanks, guys was it a pleasure? Yeah, absolutely.

Dr. Chad Woolner: Thanks, everybody for tuning into this episode. This has been a blast getting to know and chat with Dr. Block. And we’ll talk to you all on the next episode. Have a good one. Thanks for listening to the laser light show. Be sure to subscribe and give us a review. If you’re interested in learning more about Erchonia lasers, just head on over to Erchonia.com There you’ll find a ton of useful resources including research news and links to upcoming live events, as well as Erchonia E community where you can access for free additional resources including advanced training and business tools. Again, thanks for listening and we will catch you on the next episode.

About The Guest(s):

Dr.Block is a highly dedicated and accomplished dentist, committed to integrating the latest advancements, techniques, and technologies into his practice. Graduating with a degree in Psychology from Tulane University in 1997 and completing his dental education at Nova Southeastern College of Dental Medicine in 2002, and further refining his skills during a 2-year Implantology Residency at Boston University.

Summary:

Dr. Block extends his expertise to areas like dental sleep medicine, orthodontics, and clear aligner technology. As a Key Opinion Leader for Orthofx, he contributes to the future of clear aligner technology. Beyond his clinical work, he co-founded the International Academy of Dental Life Coaches, emphasizing mentorship and community support for dental professionals. Dr. Block’s multifaceted contributions include hosting dental-focused podcasts, authoring books like “The Stress-Free Dentist” and “Stress-Free Dental Implants,” and upcoming releases, “My Left Over Dino Nuggets” and “The Stress-Free Entrepreneur.” His extensive affiliations, committee chairmanship, and advisory roles underscore his commitment to innovation and excellence in the dental field.

Key Takeaways:

Certified by the American Association of Dental Boards for continuing education, Dr. Block is an advocate for professional advancement. He generously shares his knowledge through lectures globally, covering topics such as practice management, digital dentistry, and health and wellness. Specializing in dental implants, he excels in both surgical and restorative phases, showcasing mastery over 3-D technology and computer-guided implant planning. 

  

Quotes:

“I use it for post-op reduction of discomfort and anti-inflammatory and then I’ll see the patient you know, a week or two later for their post-op and use it again.” Dr. Block

“…something like a laser, as well as sleep and airway treatment, which I’ve started, it can really kind of bring different medical communities together, we can bring the chiropractor, the dentist and the physician together the EMT, I think it creates more of a collaborative opportunity where, you know, I don’t really know many physicians in my, my town or my neighborhood, maybe this is a way where I could start to meet them, we could start to have collaborative cases with patients.” -Dr. Block

“Erchonia has so much great research out there so much great customer service, they’re there for you. But you got to use it, and you got to show it off and let your patients know that you have it.” -Dr. Block