5 Commonly Used Lasers in Dentistry

Carbon dioxide laser

The CO2 laser wavelength has a high affinity for water, which can quickly remove soft tissues and stop bleeding, and has a very shallow penetration depth. Although the CO2 laser has the highest absorbance, its disadvantages are its large size, high cost, and strong tissue destructive power.

Neodymium Yttrium Aluminum Garnet Laser

The Nd: YAG wavelength is highly absorbed by pigmented tissues, making it a very effective surgical laser for cutting and coagulating soft tissues of teeth, with good hemostasis. In addition to the application in surgery, the use of Nd: YAG laser for non-surgical debridement and laser-assisted new attachment in periodontal disease control is also studied.

Erbium Laser

The “laser family” of laser has two different wavelengths, namely Er, Cr: YSGG (yttrium gallium garnet) laser and Er: YAG (yttrium aluminum garnet) laser. Any wavelength has a high affinity for hydroxyapatite and has the highest water absorption rate of any dental laser wavelength. Therefore, it is the laser of choice for the treatment of hard tooth tissue. In addition to hard tissue surgery, lasers can also be used for soft tissue ablation, because dental soft tissue also contains a high percentage of water.

Diode Laser

The active medium of a diode laser is a solid-state semiconductor made of aluminum, gallium, arsenide, and occasionally indium, and the laser wavelength range is approximately 810 nm to 980 nm. All diode wavelengths are mainly absorbed by tissue pigment (melanin) and hemoglobin. On the contrary, they are poorly absorbed by the hydroxyapatite and water in the enamel. Specific procedures include beautifying the gum contours, Extension of soft tissue crowns, exposure of soft tissue contact teeth, removal of inflamed and hypertrophic tissue, pulpectomy, and light stimulation of wavy and herpetic lesions.

Mechanism of Laser Action

The laser is monochromatic light and consists of light of a single wavelength. It consists of three main parts: an energy source, an active laser medium, and two or more mirrors forming an optical cavity or resonator. In order to generate amplification, energy is supplied to the laser system through a pumping mechanism such as a strobe flashlight device, an electric current, or an electric coil. This energy is pumped into the active medium contained in the optical resonator, resulting in the spontaneous emission of photons.

Subsequently, before the photon exits the cavity through the output coupler, when the photon is reflected back and forth in the medium through the highly reflective surface of the optical resonator, amplification caused by stimulated emission will occur. In dental lasers, the laser light is delivered from the laser to the target tissue via optical fibers, hollow waveguides, or articulated arms. The focusing lens, cooling system, and other controls complete the system. Determine the wavelength and other characteristics of the laser.

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