Pulpal temperature increases with Er : YAG laser and high-speed handpieces
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Statement of problem. During tooth preparation, both high-speed handpieces and lasers generate heat, which, if not controlled, can cause pulpal necrosis.Purpose. The aim of this study was to compare temperature increases produced by a high-speed dental handpiece with those produced by a relatively new instrument, the Er:YAG (erbium: yttrium-aluminum-garnet) laser.Material and methods. Thirty bovine mandibular incisors were reduced to an enamel/dentin thickness of 2.5 mm. Class V preparations were completed to a depth of 2.0 mm, measured with a caliper or by a mark oil the burs. A thermocouple was placed inside the pulp chamber to determine temperature increases (degreesC). Analysis was performed on the following groups (n = 10): Group 1, high-speed handpiece without water cooling, Group 11, high-speed handpiece with water cooling (30 mL/min), and Group III, the noncontact Er:YAG laser (2.94 mum at 350 mJ/10 Hz) with water cooling (4.5 mL/min). The temperature increases were recorded by a computer linked to the thermocouples. The data were analyzed using the Kruskal-Wallis test. The Dunn multiple comparison test was used as post hoc test (alpha = .05).Results. The average temperature rises were: 11.64degreesC (+/-4.35) for Group 1, 0.96degreesC (+/-0.71) for Group 11, and 2.69degreesC (+/-1.12) for Group III. There were no statistical differences between Groups 11 and III, both 11 and III differed from Group I significantly (P = .000 and P = .002, respectively).Conclusion. The preparations made with the high-speed and the laser instrument generated similar heat increases under water cooling. Water cooling was essential to avoid destructive temperature increases when using both the high-speed handpiece and laser.