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Non-Thermal Dental Ablation Using Ultra-Short Pulsed Near Infrared Laser

[+] Author Affiliations
Molly E. Fahey, Megan K. Jaunich, Ashim Dutta, Kunal Mitra

Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL

Darrell B. Tata, Ronald W. Waynant

Food and Drug Administration, Rockville, MD

H. Lawrence Mason

Bright Now Dental, Satellite Beach, FL

Paper No. SBC2007-176403, pp. 81-82; 2 pages
doi:10.1115/SBC2007-176403
From:
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • ASME 2007 Summer Bioengineering Conference
  • Keystone, Colorado, USA, June 20–24, 2007
  • Conference Sponsors: Bioengineering Division
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4798-5
  • Copyright © 2007 by ASME

abstract

Ultra-short pulsed lasers are known for their ability to precisely machine materials including human hard and soft tissues while minimizing the amount of thermal energy deposited to the surroundings. Non-thermal ablation produced by ultra-short pulsed lasers in the femtosecond to picosecond range is very effective for dental applications. As shown in Figure 1, most decay occurs in the dentin, which is found between the outer surface (enamel) and the inner region containing the nerve endings (pulp) [1]. Caries removal and the preparation of cavities in dentistry are primarily performed by the use of mechanical drills. The current techniques are invasive and cause patient discomfort. Due to the vibrations of the drills it is necessary to use local anesthetic for the majority of dental procedures. A continuous water spray is used in conjunction with the drills to balance the temperature rise produced by mechanical vibrations. Drills are somewhat limited in precision causing a large amount of healthy tooth to be lost during any restoration process. Replacing a multitude of mechanical tools with one non-invasive, accurate and painless laser treatment will be a huge advancement to the current dental techniques.

Copyright © 2007 by ASME

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