For those in the market for a dental laser but don’t know where to start, we recommend reading the American Dental Association’s technical report titled “Guide to Dental Lasers and Related Light-based Technologies: Technology, Science and Safety Considerations.” This is a wonderful resource that covers the key fundamentals in laser dentistry and why you might choose one laser type over another.
Some key takeaways about laser tissue interaction that you might not know:
- Diode lasers cut using a hot tip, not a laser beam. “The near-IR laser wavelengths of dental diode lasers cannot be used to optically ablate soft tissue. Instead, the laser optical energy of dental diode lasers is used to heat up the charred distal end of their fiber glass tips to 500-900°C …”
- CO2 and erbium lasers are excellent cutters. “Mid-IR erbium and IR CO2 laser wavelengths would be highly efficient and spatially accurate laser ablation tools due to their very strong absorption by the soft tissue.”
- Erbium lasers are poor coagulators. “For erbium laser wavelengths, optical absorption and coagulation depths are significantly smaller than gingival blood vessel diameters.”
- CO2 lasers have the most optimal coagulation depth available. “The optical absorption and coagulation depths for the CO2 laser wavelengths are effective within the diameters of surface gingival blood vessels. Coagulation extends just deep enough into a severed blood vessel to stop the bleeding.”
To learn more or to purchase a copy for yourself, please visit https://store.ada.org/catalog/ada-technical-report-no-133-guide-to-dental-lasers-and-related-light-based-technologi-102335