Previous oral calcified-tissue laser ablations have yielded inadequate results because of the difficulty in producing a desired effect on a surface without concomitant pulp or osseous damage. The purpose of this study was to characterize a new modality of ablating teeth using argon and diode lasers (488.5 nm, 805 nm) in combination with the repetitive placement of specific photoabsorptive dyes. In this design, energy from laser light, that would otherwise be reflected, is coupled to the tooth-dye interface. Thirty-two specimens of recently extracted human enamel were sectioned and prepared into 3 x 2 x 2 rectangular blocks and smoothed with a polishing point. Two- microliter droplets of dye were placed on the external enamel surface and subsequently air-dried. Specimens were then ablated with the laser-dye combinations, producing craters approximately 100-200 μm in depth and devoid of visual carbonization. Similar irradiations were performed on enamel specimens without dye application, and displayed no cavitation or surface carbonization. SEM studies showed evidence of crater formation within the enamel surface. Optimization of laser parameters integrated with specific dispensing of dye is necessary before this technique can be studied further.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biomedical Engineering