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Photomed Laser Surg. 2008 Jun;26(3):189-95. doi: 10.1089/pho.2007.2123.

Influence of output energy and pulse repetition rate of the Er:YAG laser on dentin ablation.

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Department of Operative Dentistry, Tokyo Dental College, Chiba, Japan.



We sought to improve the efficiency of dentin ablation with the Er:YAG laser by investigating the effects of output energy and pulse repetition rate on ablation.


The Er:YAG laser is superior to other lasers in ablating dental hard tissues. However, the factors affecting the efficiency of ablation with an Er:YAG laser remain unclear.


Fifty bovine root dentin plates were irradiated with an Er:YAG laser at an output power of 1.0 W, 1.5 W, or 2.0 W under a water spray while moving the plate at 1 mm/sec. After irradiation, the depth and volume of each ablated site were measured by laser microscopy and the ablated surfaces were examined by scanning electron microscopy.


The output power showed a strong positive correlation with the depth and volume of ablation. The output energy had much more pronounced effects on the depth and volume of ablation compared to the pulse repetition rate. The shape of the ablated site varied with the output power, and no cracking or vitrification was observed under the irradiated dentin. The most effective parameters for dentin ablation were an output power of 2.0 W, with an output energy of 80 mJ/pulse at 25 pulses per second (pps) or 100 mJ/pulse at 20 pps.


These findings suggest that the output energy is the main factor affecting the efficiency of dentin ablation with an Er:YAG laser. We propose that the efficiency of dentin ablation can be improved by choosing an optimal combination of output energy and repetition rate.

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