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Proceedings Paper

A high repetition rate TEA CO2 laser operating at λ=9.3-μm for the rapid and conservative ablation and modification of dental hard tissues
Author(s): Kenneth Fan; Daniel Fried
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Paper Abstract

TEA CO2 lasers tuned to the strong mineral absorption of hydroxyapatite near λ=9-μm are ideally suited for the efficient ablation of dental hard tissues if the laser-pulse is stretched to greater than 5-10-μs to avoid plasma shielding phenomena. Such CO2 lasers are capable of operating at high repetition rates for the rapid removal of dental hard tissues. An Impact 2500 TEA CO2 laser system from GSI Lumonics (Rugby, UK) custom modified by LightMachinery (Ottawa, Canada) with a repetition rate of 0-500 Hz was used for rapid tissue removal. The single pulse ablation rates through enamel were determined for incident fluence ranging from (1-160 J/cm2). Lateral incisions using a computer controlled scanning stage and water spray were produced and the crater morphology and chemical composition were measured using optical microscopy and high-resolution synchrotron radiation infrared spectromicroscopy. The transmission through 2-meter length 300, 500, 750 and 1000-μm silica hollow waveguides was measured and 80% transmission was achieved with 40-mJ per pulse. The λ=9.3-μm laser pulses efficiently removed dental enamel at rates exceeding 15-μm per pulses with minimal heat accumulation. The residual energy remaining in tooth samples was measured to be 30-40% without water cooling, significantly lower than for longer CO2 laser pulses. These results suggest that high repetition rate TEA CO2 laser systems operating at λ=9.3-μm with pulse durations of 10-20-μs are ideally suited for dental application.

Paper Details

Date Published: 15 February 2006
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 6137, Lasers in Dentistry XII, 61370H (15 February 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.661794
Show Author Affiliations
Kenneth Fan, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California, San Francisco (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6137:
Lasers in Dentistry XII
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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