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Folia Med (Plovdiv). 2010 Jul-Sep;52(3):46-55.

Morphological changes in hard dental tissues prepared by Er:YAG laser (LiteTouch, Syneron), Carisolv and rotary instruments. A scanning electron microscopy evaluation.

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Department of Operative Dentistry and Endodontics, Faculty of Dental Medicine, Medical University, Plovdiv, Bulgaria.



This in vitro investigation aimed to study by means of scanning electron microscope the morphological changes in hard dental tissues after using several different methods for caries removal and cavity preparation.


Twenty freshly extracted human teeth with carious lesions were used in the study. They were assigned to four groups depending on the method used for preparation: Group 1--Cavity preparation using Er: YAG laser (LiteTouch, Syneron, Israel). Group 2--Chemomechanical preparation using colourless Carisolv gel (MediTeam AB, Savedalen, Sweden). Group 3--Mechanical rotary preparation using diamond burs and air turbine. Group 4--Mechanical rotary preparation using by steel burs and micromotor. The preparations were performed strictly according to the manufacturer's instructions for proper use of instruments. The teeth samples were prepared for histological study and investigated by a scanning electron microscope at different magnification; the morphological changes in the tissues were registered and compared.


There were considerable differences in the surface characteristics of the dental tissues when we analysed the photomicrographs of the specimens obtained using scanning electron microscopy (SEM). The surface after laser treatment remained highly retentive with no residual smear layer; the second best results in this respect were registered when teeth were chemomechanically excavated with Carisolv gel. The mechanical methods of cavity preparation resulted in surfaces with a smear layer of dentin without any microretentions.


The scanning electron microscopy of hard dental tissues prepared using steel and diamond burs showed surfaces covered with a thick smear layer that may be relevant to the subsequent bonding of adhesive restorative materials to the prepared cavity. In preparing the surface using a turbine with diamond burs the smear layer was thinner and part of the dentinal tubules orifices were open in the area of water turbulence. SEM analysis of hard dental tissues prepared with the help of colourless Carisolv gel showed a rough, retentive surface, some of the dentinal tubule lumens obstructed by denaturated collagen and surface contaminants. The teeth surfaces prepared with Er:YAG laser Lite Touch (Syneron) remained without smear layer and clearly exposed dentinal tubules orifices. The surfaces were highly retentive.

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