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Proceedings Paper

Dental hard tissue modification and removal using sealed TEA lasers operating at λ=9.6 and 10.6 μm
Author(s): Daniel Fried; Michael W. Murray; John D. B. Featherstone; Maria Akrivou; Kevin M. Dickenson; Clifford W. Duhn; Orlando P. Ojeda
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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 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 a laser pulse wit a 100-200 ns gain switched spike followed by a long tail of about 1-4 μs in duration. the pulse duration is well matched to the 1-2 μs thermal relaxation time of the deposited laser energy at 9.6 μm and effectively heats the enamel to temperatures required for surface modification for caries prevention at absorbed fluences of less than 0.5 J/cm2. Thus, the heat deposition in the tooth and the corresponding risk, of pulpal necrosis form excessive heat accumulation is minimized. At higher fluences the high peak power of the gain-switched spike rapidly initiates a plasma that markedly reduces the ablation rate and efficiency, severely limiting applicability for hard tissue ablation. By slightly stretching the pulse to reduce the energy distributed in the initial 100-200 ns of the laser pulse, 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: 19 May 1999
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 3593, Lasers in Dentistry V, (19 May 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.348349
Show Author Affiliations
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Michael W. Murray, Argus Photonics Group (United States)
John D. B. Featherstone, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Maria Akrivou, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Kevin M. Dickenson, Argus Photonics Group (United States)
Clifford W. Duhn, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Orlando P. Ojeda, Argus Photonics Group (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3593:
Lasers in Dentistry V
John D. B. Featherstone; Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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