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Br Dent J. 1992 Jan 11;172(1):13-6.

NdYAG laser treatment of dentinal hypersensitivity.

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  • 1Department of Periodontology, University of Bristol Dental Hospital.


Eighteen per cent of all patients have some degree of sensitivity and a range of therapies has been devised to alleviate this condition. An electronic monitoring machine was constructed which allowed for air stream, directed at a patient's tooth, to be started by the clinician and halted by the patient when the sensation of pain in the tooth became too unpleasant to tolerate. The time for which the patient could tolerate the air flow was electronically measured in units of 1/50th second. By measuring the patient's reaction time on each visit and correcting the readings obtained for 'tooth pain time' using these figures, a quantitative measure of sensitivity change is achieved. Using this system, a clinical trial has been conducted to test the efficacy of the NdYAG dental laser. The 30 patients treated had an average tooth pain time initially of 1.2 seconds. Following laser treatment patients were recalled at 3, 7 and 14 days. At the 2-week review, this figure had increased to 7.8 seconds, which was found to be statistically significant. Control (unlased) teeth demonstrated an average improvement of only 1.7 seconds (not statistically significant). Patients' subjective assessment of sensitivity pain on a 0-10 scale averaged 8.0 before treatment. This reduced to 3.7 after treatment. Treatment of this condition can thus be performed easily and painlessly with a predictable response and considerable patient satisfaction.

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