Chemical analysis and surface morphology of enamel and dentin following 9.6m CO2 laser irradiation versus high speed drilling

Joshua Moshonov, Adam Stabholz, Rita Bar-Hilel, Benjamin Peretz,

Journal of Dentistry (2005) 33, 427–432

Summary Objectives. The purpose of the present in vitro study was to determine whether there is a change in the chemical composition and surface morphology of enamel and dentin following 9.6m CO2 laser irradiation and high-speed drilling.
Materials and methods. Ten permanent, non-carious, young premolars, extracted for orthodontic reasons, were selected. The crowns were separated longitudinally into two equal parts at their mesiodistal axis. Two areas on the inner enamel surface of each specimen and two on the dentinal surface were selected. A high-speed drill and 9.6m CO2 laser irradiation were applied to the selected enamel and dentinal areas. A random area on the unlased enamel and on the unlased dentin of each specimen served as controls. The morphology of the specimens was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Calcium, phosphorus and oxygen levels were measured using an energy dispersive spectrometer.
Results. Mineral analysis revealed no significant difference in the mineral content of the enamel and dentin after laser irradiation or high speed drilling versus the control.
Use of the high-speed drill on enamel and dentin resulted in very clear cavity margins, with characteristic grooves, whereas laser irradiation of enamel and dentin did not produce clear margins and the floor of the cavity displayed an irregular surface.
Conclusions. The 9.6m CO2 laser appears to be a promising tool in the clinical setting. However, further investigation is indicated to ensure maximum effectiveness.