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J Dent Res. 1996 Jun;75(6):1388-95.

The threshold effects of Nd and Ho: YAG laser-induced surface modification on demineralization of dentin surfaces.

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Chemistry and Materials Science Department, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, California 94551, USA.


Laser irradiation alters the structure of dentin and produces surface layers that give the appearance of being more enamel-like. The laser-modified surface may be more resistant to demineralization; hence, many investigators are proposing continued development of the laser as a possible preventive treatment for caries. The purpose of this study was to explore the morphological changes that occur in dentin when treated at threshold illuminance with two clinically interesting laser wavelengths, and to evaluate the effectiveness of the laser-treated surface at resisting demineralization in an acid-gel solution. The Nd: YAG laser (wavelength 1060 nm) produced significant recrystallization and grain growth of the apatite, without the formation of second phases such as beta-tricalcium phosphate. This recrystallized surface layer showed resistance to demineralization; however, the layer did not provide protection of the underlying dentin from demineralization because of cracks and macroscopic voids that allowed for penetration of the demineralizing gel. The Ho: YAG laser-treated surface (wavelength 2100 nm) did not show significant evidence of recrystallization and grain growth, and only a trace amount of an acid-resistant layer was observed with demineralization. It is speculated that the Ho:YAG laser is coupling with absorbed water, and that the heat transfer from the water to the mineral phase is inefficient. For the purposes of creating a demineralization-resistant layer, threshold illuminance with both Nd: YAG and Ho: YAG was ineffective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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