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Journal of Biomedical Optics

Caries inhibition in vital teeth using 9.6-μm CO2-laser irradiation
Author(s): Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried; Charles Q. Le; Marcia L. Rapozo-Hilo; Beate M. T. Rechmann; John D. B. Featherstone; Gerald Nelson
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Paper Abstract

The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that in a short-term clinical pilot trial short-pulsed 9.6 μm CO2-laser irradiation significantly inhibits demineralization in vivo. Twenty-four subjects scheduled for extraction of bicuspids for orthodontic reasons (age 14.9 ± 2.2 years) were recruited. Orthodontic brackets were placed on bicuspids (Transbond XT, 3M). An area next to the bracket was irradiated with a CO2-laser (Pulse System Inc, Los Alamos, New Mexico), wavelength 9.6 μm, pulse duration 20 μs, pulse repetition rate 20 Hz, beam diameter 1100 μm, average fluence 4.1 ± 0.3J/cm2, 20 laser pulses per spot. An adjacent nonirradiated area served as control. Bicuspids were extracted after four and twelve weeks, respectively, for a quantitative assessment of demineralization by cross-sectional microhardness testing. For the 4-week arm the mean relative mineral loss ΔZ (vol% × μm) for the laser treated enamel was 402 ± 85 (mean ± SE), while the control showed significantly higher mineral loss (ΔZ 738 ± 131; P = 0.04, t-test). The difference was even larger after twelve weeks (laser arm ΔZ 135 ± 98; control 1067 ± 254; P = 0.002). The laser treatment produced 46% demineralization inhibition for the 4-week and a marked 87% inhibition for the 12-week arm. This study shows, for the first time in vivo, that the short-pulsed 9.6 μm CO2-laser irradiation successfully inhibits demineralization of tooth enamel in humans.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 July 2011
PDF: 7 pages
J. Biomed. Opt. 16(7) 071405 doi: 10.1117/1.3564908
Published in: Journal of Biomedical Optics Volume 16, Issue 7
Show Author Affiliations
Peter Rechmann, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Charles Q. Le, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Marcia L. Rapozo-Hilo, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Beate M. T. Rechmann, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
John D. B. Featherstone, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Gerald Nelson, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)


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