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Proceedings Paper

Diode laser for endodontic treatment: investigations of light distribution and disinfection efficiency
Author(s): Karl Stock; Rainer Graser; Martin Udart; Alwin Kienle; Raimund Hibst
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Paper Abstract

Diode lasers are used in dentistry mainly for oral surgery and disinfection of root canals in endodontic treatment. The purpose of this study was to investigate and to improve the laser induced bacteria inactivation in endodontic treatment. An essential prerequisite of the optimization of the irradiation process and device is the knowledge about the determinative factors of bacteria killing: light intensity? light dosis? temperature? In order to find out whether high power NIR laser bacterial killing is caused by a photochemical or a photothermal process we heated bacteria suspensions of E. coli K12 by a water bath and by a diode laser (940 nm) with the same temporal temperature course. Furthermore, bacteria suspensions were irradiated while the temperature was fixed by ice water. Killing of bacteria was measured via fluorescence labeling. In order to optimize the irradiation of the root canal, we designed special fiber tips with radial light emission characteristic by optical ray tracing simulations. Also, we calculated the resulting light distribution in dentin by voxelbased Monte Carlo simulations. Furthermore, we irradiated root canals of extracted human teeth using different fiber tip geometries and measured the resulting light and heat distribution by CCD-camera and thermography. Comparison of killing rates between laser and water based heating shows no significant differences, and irradiation of ice cooled suspensions has no substantial killing effect. Thus, the most important parameter for bacterial killing is the maximum temperature. Irradiation of root canals using fiber tips with radial light emission results in a more defined irradiated area with minor irradiation of the apex and higher intensity and therefore higher temperature increase on root canal surface. In conclusion, our experiments show that at least for E. coli bacteria inactivation by NIR laser irradiation is solely based on a thermal process and that heat distribution in root canal can be significantly improved by specially designed fiber tips.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 February 2011
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7884, Lasers in Dentistry XVII, 788402 (17 February 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.875109
Show Author Affiliations
Karl Stock, Univ. Ulm (Germany)
Rainer Graser, Univ. Ulm (Germany)
Martin Udart, Univ. Ulm (Germany)
Alwin Kienle, Univ. Ulm (Germany)
Raimund Hibst, Univ. Ulm (Germany)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7884:
Lasers in Dentistry XVII
Peter Rechmann D.D.S.; Daniel Fried, Editor(s)

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