Scanning Microscopy


This study investigates the thermal danger of Erbium (Er):YAG laser ablation. Classical preparation techniques have many disadvantages caused by unfavorable changes of temperature, pressure, and by mechanical vibrations. The effect of mechanical vibrations and pressure is eliminated by use of laser ablation technique. The purpose of this study was to analyze the side effects resulting from thermal changes of enamel and dentin in extracted human teeth subjected to pulsed Er:YAG laser radiation using both wet and dry ablation methods.

The micrographs of the sections were checked and measured afterwards. The effect of the investigated laser irradiation on the origin of cracks was analyzed in the scanning electron microscope. The hard structures of the teeth were observed under transmitted and polarized light. The occurrence of cracks can be directly correlated to overheating during dry enamel ablation, because heat is generated by absorption of the laser beam by enamel and dentin. The addition of water mist during irradiation not only enables rapid ablation of enamel and dentin, but offers thermal protection to the pulp. The heat changes to the pulp caused by an energy level of 200 mJ from the tested laser system may be reduced by adding a fine water spray during the lasing procedure.

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