Convergent Dental pockets $8M for 'dread-free' laser

Convergent Dental's Solea laser--Courtesy of Convergent

Some dentists offer spa services and virtual-reality goggles to keep patients calm. Dental equipment company Convergent Dental says dentists should use its Solea laser to practice "dread-free dentistry," and it now has an additional $8 million in funding thanks to venture capital firm Long River Ventures and other individual investors.

Convergent claims Solea is the first laser to be cleared by the FDA for hard and soft tissue dental procedures, and says the product improves precision and reduces both pain and the need for anesthesia. The company will use the funding to invest in product development, marketing and client services.

"Solea's immediate impact on the dental industry and patient experience is proof that the world is ready for a pain-free dental laser," Convergent CEO Michael Cataldo said in a statement. "This round of funding will focus on strategic growth to execute Convergent Dental's mission to vastly improve the patient dental experience."

Solea touted research from the American Dental Association showing that nearly a quarter of Americans don't visit the dentist because of fear. According to The Wall Street Journal, 35% of dentists offer laughing gas to reduce pain and anxiety. Convergent says Solea can help reduce anxiety because it is supposed to replace the dentist's drill.

Long River Ventures' healthcare portfolio consists mainly of digital health and wellness companies. It has funded diagnostic company Verax Biomedical and lifeIMAGE, a company that enables the sharing of medical images.

- read the release
- here's the Wall Street Journal story on reducing anxiety in dentistry (sub. req.)