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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Dental hard tissue modification and removal using sealed transverse excited atmospheric-pressure lasers operating at lambda=9.6 and 10.6 um
Author(s): Daniel Fried; Jerome N. Ragadio; Maria Akrivou; John D. B. Featherstone; Michael W. Murray; Kevin M. Dickenson
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Paper Abstract

Pulsed CO2 lasers have been shown to be effective for both removal and modification of dental hard tissue for the treatment of dental caries. In this study, sealed transverse excited atmospheric pressure (TEA) laser systems optimally tuned to the highly absorbed 9.6 µm wavelength were investigated for application on dental hard tissue. Conventional TEA lasers produce an initial high energy spike at the beginning of the laser pulse of submicrosecond duration followed by a long tail of about 1–4 µs. The pulse duration is well matched to the 1–2 µs thermal relaxation time of the deposited laser energy at 9.6 mm and effectively heats the enamel to the temperatures required for surface modification at absorbed fluences of less than 0.5 J/cm2. Thus, the heat deposition in the tooth and the corresponding risk of pulpal necrosis from excessive heat accumulation is minimized. At higher fluences, the high peak power of the laser pulse rapidly initiates a plasma that markedly reduces the ablation rate and efficiency, severely limiting applicability for hard tissue ablation. By lengthening the laser pulse to reduce the energy distributed in the initial high energy spike, the plasma threshold can be raised sufficiently to increase the ablation rate by an order of magnitude. This results in a practical and efficient CO2 laser system for caries ablation and surface modification

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 April 2001
PDF: 8 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 6(2) doi: 10.1117/1.1344192
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 6, Issue 2
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Jerome N. Ragadio, Univ. of California (United States)
Maria Akrivou, Argus Photonics Group (United States)
John D. B. Featherstone, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Michael W. Murray, Argus Photonics Inc. (United States)
Kevin M. Dickenson, Argus Photonics Group (United States)

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