What is an electrotome?

An electrotome is a surgical instrument for performing electro surgery. The device consists of two electrodes and a patient plate. By using a high voltage between the two electrodes, this can be used as a surgical knife.

Two positions are possible: a cutting position and a coagulating position. The cutting position loosens the attachment of the tissue. At the coagulating position the wound is immediately ‘closed burned’. Blood vessels are closed by coagulation of tissue; the bleeding comes to a standstill. This leads to better wound healing and therefore less chance of infection.

The advantages of electro surgery are:

  • incision without mechanical force;
  • haemostasis during cutting;
  • reduction of blood loss and infections (compared to cutting with scissors or cutting with a scalpel)

What is the difference in releasing with scissors, a laser and electro surgery?

A laser in dentistry is an instrument that emits (electromagnetic) radiation. After absorption into tissues, the effect of this radiation becomes noticeable and effective. The clinical choice for a laser type depends on the goal you want to achieve. Coagulation lasers are used to stop bleeding, for example. Working in a completely different way are water lasers, which make treatment techniques possible through the irradiation of water. Lasers provide a controlled depth of cut and a controllable degree of bleeding.

An electrotome is a surgical instrument for performing electro surgery. (See frequently asked question: what is an electrotome?)

Laser therapy does not show a significant difference compared to electro surgery for the treatment of soft tissue management in dentistry with regard to tissue damage, wound healing, pain, bleeding and tissue permeability.

Scissors are often used to remove ties. It’s only a cutting instrument and will therefore not “remove “tissue. It only makes the tie loose. Also is there more chance of bleeding because there is no coagulation component.

The choice is therefore always made by the practitioner which surgical instrument is used.