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Evaluation of micromorphological changes in tooth enamel after mechanical and ultrafast laser preparation of surface cavities.

Luengo, Ma Cruz Lorenzo; Portillo, M; Sánchez, J M; Peix, M; Moreno, P; García, A; Montero, J; Albaladejo, A.
Lasers Med Sci; 28(1): 267-73, 2013 Jan.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-22760228
The aim of this in vitro study was to evaluate the morphological changes that occur in tooth enamel after mechanical instrumentation and after femtosecond laser irradiation with different parameters via light and scanning electron microscopy (SEM). Twelve totally impacted third molars were collected and sectioned to provide several cut surfaces. These surfaces were exposed to infrared (λ = 795 nm, 120 fs, 1-kHz repetition rate, maximum mean power 1 W) laser pulses and machined by means of a conventional mechanical technique. Two very different geometrical patterns were performed with femtosecond laser pulses shallow rectangular cavities and deep cylindrical ones. The results of both machining procedures were examined using light and scanning electron microscopy. The SEM images show the femtosecond laser ability to produce high-precision cavities in tooth enamel. No signs of collateral damage, burning, melting, or cracks were observed despite the far different laser pulse energies used (ranging from 7 to 400 µJ), unlike what is seen with conventional mechanical techniques. The femtosecond laser has the potential to become an optimal tool for the treatment of dental decay and as an alternative to the conventional drill to reduce mechanical damage during removal of the hard dental tissue.