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Proceedings Paper

Near-IR imaging of erbium laser ablation with a water spray
Author(s): Cynthia L. Darling; Marie E. Maffei; William A. Fried; Daniel Fried
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Paper Abstract

Near-IR (NIR) imaging can be used to view the formation of ablation craters during laser ablation since the enamel of the tooth is almost completely transparent near 1310-nm1. Laser ablation craters can be monitored under varying irradiation conditions to assess peripheral thermal and transient-stress induced damage, measure the rate and efficiency of ablation and provide insight into the ablation mechanism. There are fundamental differences in the mechanism of enamel ablation using erbium lasers versus carbon dioxide laser systems due to the nature of the primary absorber and it is necessary to have water present on the tooth surface for efficient ablation at erbium laser wavelengths. In this study, sound human tooth sections of approximately 2-3-mm thickness were irradiated by free running and Q-switched Er:YAG & Er:YSGG lasers under varying conditions with and without a water spray. The incision area in the interior of each sample was imaged using a tungsten-halogen lamp with a band-pass filter centered at 1310-nm combined with an InGaAs area camera with a NIR zoom microscope. Obvious differences in the crater evolution were observed between CO2 and erbium lasers. Ablation stalled after a few laser pulses without a water spray as anticipated. Efficient ablation was re-initiated by resuming the water spray. Micro-fractures were continuously produced apparently driven along prism lines during multi-pulse ablation. These fractures or fissures appeared to merge together as the crater evolved to form the leading edge of the ablation crater. These observations support the proposed thermo-mechanical mechanisms of erbium laser involving the strong mechanical forces generated by selective absorption by water.

Paper Details

Date Published: 11 February 2008
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 6843, Lasers in Dentistry XIV, 684303 (11 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.778786
Show Author Affiliations
Cynthia L. Darling, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Marie E. Maffei, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
William A. Fried, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)
Daniel Fried, Univ. of California/San Francisco (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6843:
Lasers in Dentistry XIV
Peter Rechmann; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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