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J Periodontol. 1997 Sep;68(9):872-80.

Laser irradiation of bone. I. An in vitro study concerning the effects of the CO2 laser on oral mucosa and subjacent bone.

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Department of Periodontics, School of Dentistry, University of Missouri-Kansas City, USA.


The purpose of this study was twofold: first, to evaluate the histologic effects of CO2 laser irradiation on biopsies of porcine oral mucosa and underlying bone under conditions that simulate the applications of the laser during gingival surgery; and second, to evaluate the histologic effects on cortical bone following irradiation with increasing energy densities. Specimens consisting of mucosa and underlying bone were subjected to multiple passes of the laser beam in the same line of incision at energy densities ranging from 240 to 1,032 J/cm2. A second group of specimens consisting only of cortical bone was irradiated by a single pass of the laser at energy densities ranging from 40 to 2,062 J/cm2. In both groups the mean depth of ablation, width of surface damage, and widths of the zones of thermal necrosis and thermal damage were determined. Results showed a direct correlation between increasing energy density and/or number of energy beam passes and increasing depths of ablation and widths of surface damage. Further, more than three passes at 1,032 J/cm2 penetrated the mucosal layer to involve underlying bone. The mean depth of ablation for bone specimens following a single pass of the energy beam ranged from 0.02 mm at 160 J/cm2 to a maximum of 0.75 mm at 2,062 J/cm2. Using those energy densities most common to oral soft tissue surgery, the mean depth of ablation in bone specimens ranged from 0.17 mm at 240 J/cm2 to 0.28 mm at 640 J/cm2 to 0.35 mm at 1,032 J/cm2. All specimens regardless of tissue composition, energy density, or number of energy beam passes exhibited a distinct layer of residual carbonized tissue, a zone of thermal necrosis characterized by tissue coagulation, and a zone of tissue exhibiting thermal damage.

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