An Overview of Laser Technology in Dentistry
Abstract — Laser technology was introduced in dentistry with a novel idea of overcoming some of the problems due to traditional treatment methods. After its first use in 1960s, laser technology has found its place in different aspects of dentistry field. The aim o f this review is to explain laser applications and compare different types of lasers along with their adva ntages and disa dvantages. A computer based search was done to study 135 articles in seven journals. Laser inhe rent properties make it the treatment of choice is some cases. Its main achievement is overcoming patient fear associated with conservative dental treatment. On the downside, cost is a big limiting factor in its use. Since the disc overy of laser, its research has given different improv ed laser types, specialized for different targets, like new wavelength bands, maximum peak pulse energy, output power, minimum cost and maximum efficiency. Based on its development and its improved efficiency, laser te chnology application may revolutionize traditional dental treatment methods.
1. INTRODUCTION The space time has arrived. It’s no longer that lasers are used in movies only. Interestingly lasers are finding place in many aspects of life and this includes dentistry also. Laser dentistry means use of laser technology in field of dentistry for purpose of diagnosis, treatment or therapy. The use of laser in dentistry field has been tremendously increased for the past few years. Laser dentistry takes opportunity of new developments in dentistry to provide dramatically better dental experiences which yield lesser side effects as compared to conventional trea tments. The main attraction in using laser technology is that p atient discomfort and stress is alleviated. The first ever laser us ed in dentistry was during 1960s . Now lasers are indicated for various uses in dentistry . This paper pres ents an overview about laser technology in dentistry. It describes application of laser in dentistry, comparison of different types of lasers along with their advantages and disadvantages. Section II describes background detail about lasers; Section III describes application of lasers in dentistry, Section IV mentions about safety of lasers. Section V describes future concerns about laser and Section V1 is about Conclusion.
EFFECT OF LASER ON TISSUE
When energy is emitted from laser and it comes in contact with tissue, so it can have four different types of responses and these responses are dependen t on optical properties of tissue . The first response is Reflection. This means that beam of laser is reflected back from surface hence tissue is not affected. The reflected light can then become diffuse or collimate in form of a narrow beam. The second response is passage of laser energy through tissue, but not effecting tissue. The effect depends on laser wavelength. The third response is scattering of laser energy. This produces no useful effect. This is because energy is changed into heat energy, so adjacent tissue can be damaged. But this is useful in curing of dental materials. The fourth response, the desirable response, is absorption of laser energy by tissue. This absorption is dependent on characteristics of tissue li ke water content, and on wavelength of laser and its mode of emission.
Nd: YAG is solid state laser. It also allows homeostasis which is beneficial for clinicians. The advantage is its flexibility of fiber delivery system, hence eliminating the necessity for using traditional articulated arm delivery method. One of biggest disadvan tages with this laser is the deeper penetration of laser energy hence damage to tissue can be more than anticipated [ 17]. It does not remove tooth enamel as efficiently as erbium, Er: YAG, Er, Cr: YSGG laser. Another systematic review was done to analyze efficacy of a pulsed ND:YAG laser in treatment of patients with periodontitis or as an additional method to conventional therapy of periodontitis. The review concluded with no superior result for Nd: YAG laser as compared to traditional treatment in this case .
happens which can be eliminated with LLLT . It is also useful in removing pain and discomfort in trigeminal neuralgia . If a dentist is specialized in acupuncture, LLLT will be an easy method of replacing needles in many cases for acupuncture . Needles are always scary to patients, so laser are pref erred in this case. There is a huge research work done on developing new laser application in dentistry and each year different meetings are arranged which bring together this research like international society for lasers in dentistry, academy of laser dentistry, European society for oral laser applications etc. So there will be more opportunities for dentists to become involved in these me etings and present their work and ideas. Laser technology is a new idea in dentistry. The existing literature is a sufficient foundation for successful use of laser in clinical dentistry but mo re evidence based research is needed to find out suitable parameters. Laser provides safe, effective and virtually pain-free dental practice. The indications for laser use are continually expanding and ultimately this is benefitting patient. Dentists need to become knowledgeable about lasers so that they can maximize the application of laser. A CKNOWLEDGMENT The authors would like to thank Dr Muneer Babar, at International Medical University, Malaysia, for his useful suggestions and providing guidance in this work.