A novel use of the CO2 laser on dental hard tissues: An SEM study

Harvey A. Wigdor, Jeremy L. Gilbert, Doron Chomsky, Joshua Raif

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review


There is great interest in dentistry to find a replacement for the dental drill which is a great source fear in dental patients. Lasers have been considered a potential replacement. Hard tissue use of lasers on dental tissues has been slow in development has had very limited acceptance by the dental community. The ultimate goal is to develop a laser which can remove both healthy and diseased dental hard tissues and dental materials. The CO2 laser surgical applications on sot tissues has been reported by many authors. It is hard tissue applications have had very few published reports. The thermal effects of this laser on hard tissues precluded its use on hard tissues. A new CO2 laser has been developed to reduce the thermal effects on dentin and enamel. Powers of 3-5 watts were used to ablate the buccal surface of extracted human molar teeth. These teeth were gold coated and evaluated under scanning electron microscopy. The results show some melting of the dentin and enamel, however patent dentinal tubules are evident and there appears to be a non-thermal cutting of the enamel at the boarder of the cut surface. In conclusion these very preliminary results appear to show that this new CO 2 laser can cut dentin and enamel efficiently and with very little thermal effect as seen under SEM.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)23-28
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 1997
EventLasers in Dentistry III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 8 1997Feb 8 1997


  • Ablation
  • CO laser
  • Enamel and dentin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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