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Proceedings Paper

Pulsed Nd:YAG laser selective ablation of surface enamel caries: II. Histology and clinical trials
Author(s): David M. Harris; Harold E. Goodis; Joel M. White; Charles J. Arcoria; James Simon; John Burkart; Michael J. Yessik; Terry D. Myers
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Paper Abstract

High intensity infrared light from the pulsed Nd:YAG dental laser is absorbed by pigmented carious enamel and not absorbed by normal enamel. Therefore, this system is capable of selective removal of surface enamel caries. Safety and efficacy of the clinical procedure was evaluated in two sets of clinical trials at three dental schools. Carious lesions were randomized to drill or laser treatment. Pulp vitality, surface condition, preparations and restorations were evaluated by blinded evaluators. In Study 1 surface caries were removed from 104 third molars scheduled for extraction. One week post-treatment teeth were extracted and the pulp was examined histologically. In Study 2 90 patients with 422 lesions on 376 teeth were randomized to laser or drill and followed for six months. There were no adverse events and both clinical and histological evaluations of pulp vitality showed no abnormalities. Caries were removed in all conditions. A significantly greater number of preparations in the drill groups vs. laser groups entered dentin (drill equals 11, laser equals 1, p less than 0.001). This indicates that the more conservative laser treatment removed the caries but not the sound enamel below the lesion.

Paper Details

Date Published: 24 March 2000
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 3910, Lasers in Dentistry VI, (24 March 2000); doi: 10.1117/12.380826
Show Author Affiliations
David M. Harris, Univ. of California/San Francisco and Bio-Medical Consultants, Inc. (United States)
Harold E. Goodis, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Joel M. White, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Charles J. Arcoria, Baylor College of Dentistry (United States)
James Simon, Univ. of the Pacific School of Dentistry (United States)
John Burkart, Burkart Associates and Bio-Medical Consultants, Inc. (United States)
Michael J. Yessik, Yessik Enterprises (United States)
Terry D. Myers, Institute for Advanced Dental Technologies (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3910:
Lasers in Dentistry VI
John D. B. Featherstone; Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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