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Lasers Med Sci. 2009 Sep;24(5):811-8. doi: 10.1007/s10103-008-0563-1. Epub 2008 Apr 19.

Water flow on erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet laser irradiation: effects on dental tissues.

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  • 1Department of Operative Dentistry, Ribeirão Preto School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo (USP), Ribeirão Preto, SP, Brazil. vi.colucci@gmail.com


Since lasers were introduced in dentistry, there has been considerable advancement in technology. Several wavelengths have been investigated as substitutes for high-speed air turbine. Owing to its high absorbability in water and hydroxyapatite, the erbium:yttrium-aluminum-garnet (Er:YAG) laser has been of great interest among dental practitioners and scientists. In spite of its great potential for hard tissue ablation, Er:YAG laser effectiveness and safety is directly related to an adequate setting of the working patterns. It is assumed that the ablation rate is influenced by certain conditions, such as water content of the target tissue, and laser parameters. It has been shown that Er:YAG irradiation with water coolant attenuates temperature rise and, hence, minimizes the risk of thermally induced pulp injury. It also increases ablation efficiency and enhances adhesion to the lased dental tissue. The aim of this review was to obtain insights into the ablation process and to discuss the effects of water flow on dental tissue ablation using Er:YAG laser.

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