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Dent Clin North Am. 2000 Oct;44(4):955-69, ix.

Caries detection and prevention with laser energy.

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Department of Preventive and Restorative Dental Sciences, University of California San Francisco, USA.


Laser light can be used in the visible region (blue or red) as a tool for the detection of carious lesions. Techniques developed to date for early caries detection by laser light rely on fluorescence naturally from the tooth material or from bacterial by-products. Fluorescence techniques have been introduced clinically in Europe and show great promise for improved management of dental caries. Laboratory studies have shown that specific laser irradiation that is absorbed strongly by the carbonated hydroxyapatite mineral of the teeth can heat a thin layer at the surface briefly, altering its composition and making it strongly resistant to subsequent acid attack in the caries process. This resistance leads to major inhibition of subsequent subsurface caries progression and shows great promise for the treatment of susceptible sites on the tooth. This technology, if used in conjunction with ablation of carious lesions by specific laser irradiation, could prevent secondary progression around restorations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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