In vitro study of the Nd : YAG laser effect on human dental enamel: Optical and scanning electron microscope analysis

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Pelino, JEP
Mello, J. B.
Eduardo, C. P.
Jorge, AOC
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Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Objective: the Nd:YAG laser irradiation of dental enamel was evaluated in enamel demineralization experiments in a Streptococcus mutans culture media. Summary Background Data: Previous studies had shown that a continuous wave Nd:YAG laser at an energy of approximately 67 mJ may induce an increased acid resistance in human dental enamel when exposed to severe demineralization conditions. Methods: Enamel windows of 3 x 4 cm in the buccal surface were irradiated with a continuous wave Nd:YAG laser at a wavelength of 1,064 Ecm using energy densities of from 83.75 to 187.50 J/cm(2), Enamel windows of 3 x 4 cm on the lingual surface served as control (without the laser irradiation). The enamel windows were then exposed to a Streptococcus mutans culture media at a temperature of 37 degrees C for 15 and 21 days. The laser effects and demineralization were examined both by optical microscopy and scanning electron microscopy (SEM), Results: A comparison between the lased and the unlased windows of enamel showed fusion and recrystalization of the enamel and increased acid-resistance in all groups irradiated with the Nd:YAG laser, on the other hand, the 3 x 4 delimited enamel surfaces from the control group (not irradiated with the Nd:YAG laser) showed 100% deminerization, Conclusions: These findings are consistent with the finding that laser irradiation of dental results in significant reduction of the effective solubility of enamel mineral.
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Journal of Clinical Laser Medicine & Surgery. Larchmont: Mary Ann Liebert Inc. Publ, v. 17, n. 4, p. 171-177, 1999.