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Clinical Studies | Convergent Dental


In vitro CO2 9.3-μm short-pulsed laser caries prevention—effects of a newly developed laser irradiation pattern

Peter Rechmann & C. Q. Le & R. Kinsel & C. Kerbage & B. M. T. Rechmann

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Caries prevention with different lasers has been investigated in laboratory studies and clinical pilot trials. Objective of this in vitro study was to assess whether 9.3-μm microsecond short-pulsed CO2 laser irradiation enhances enamel caries resistance without melting, with and without additional fluoride application. Seven groups of enamel, totaling 105 human enamel samples, were irradiated with 2 different carbon dioxide lasers with 2 different energy application systems (original versus spread beam; 9.3 μm wavelength, pulse repetition rate 43 Hz vs 100 Hz, fluence ranges from 1.4 to 3.9 J/cm2, pulse duration 3 μs to 18 μs). The laboratory pH-cycling was performed with or without additional fluoride, followed by cross-sectional microhardness testing. To assess caries inhibition, the mean relative mineral loss delta Z (ΔZ) was determined. To evaluate for melting, scanning electron microscopy (SEM) examinations were performed. For the non-laser control groups with additional fluoride use, the relative mineral loss (ΔZ, vol% × μm) ranged between 512 ± 292 and 809 ± 297 (mean ± SD). ΔZ for the laser-irradiated samples with fluoride use ranged between 186 ± 214 and 374 ± 191, averaging a 58%± 6% mineral loss reduction (ANOVA, P < 0.01 to P < 0.0001). For the non-laser-treated controls without additional fluoride, the mineral loss increased (ΔZ 914 ± 422 to 1224 ± 736). In contrast, the ΔZ for the laser-treated groups without additional fluoride ranged between 463 ± 190 and 594 ± 272 (P < 0.01 to P < 0.001) indicative of 50%± 2% average reduction in mineral loss. Enhanced caries resistance was achieved by all applied fluences. Using the spread beamresulted in enhanced resistancewithout enamel melting as seen by SEM. CO2 9.3-μm short-pulsed laser irradiation with both laser beam configurations resulted in highly significant reduction in enamel mineral loss. Modifying the beam to a more homogenous profile will allow enamel caries resistance even without apparent enamel melting.

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