Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Cutting with light


More dentists, patients see benefit of lasers

Until recently, the use of lasers in the dental office was marginalized because of the cost of the equipment and its limited use. Today, manufacturers and dentists believe "cutting with light" will gain a much wider appeal thanks to recent technological leaps and declining costs, according to the August/September 2003 issue of AGD Impact, the monthly newsmagazine of the Academy of General Dentistry (AGD).

Not a day goes by that I don’t use it," Christopher J. Walinski, DDS, a Massachusetts-based laser dentist, says in the Impact article. "We have patients coming in who want to be treated with the laser. I’m the guy with the laser."

Lasers debuted in health care in the 1960s. They made their way into dentistry in the early 1990s. About 5 percent of U.S. practitioners use lasers.

"Basically new technology is the appeal for patients," says Eric Shapira, DDS, MAGD, spokesperson for the AGD. "Patients look for ease of having procedures done without major discomfort."

In addition to the number of soft- and hard-tissue procedures applicable to lasers, advocates say faster healing, improved infection control, reduced postoperative pain and sensitivity, reduced patient anxiety and less need for anesthesia or injections are advantages of the laser.

"Many procedures work without giving an injection, which is less stressful for dentists and patients," says Robert A. Convissar, DDS, FAGD, co-author of a report that will be published in the September/October 2003 issue of General Dentistry, the AGD’s clinical, peer-reviewed journal.

The laser industry, as it pertains to dentistry, is expected to grow. According to some manufacturers, lasers may soon be developed for removal, preventive cavities detection and using different wavelength to vaporize cavities beneath the tooth surface.

Laser Facts
  • "Laser" is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation.
  • A laser is an intense beam of monochromatic light used to do everything from "reading" compact discs to performing surgical operations.
  • Soft-tissue lasers work only on soft tissue, such as gums. Hard-tissue lasers work on tooth and bone.
  • The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has cleared five types of lasers for dental use: the carbon dioxide (CO2) laser, the Neodymium-Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Nd:YAG) laser, the semiconductor diode laser and the erbium series of lasers, the Ebrium-Yttrium-Aluminum-Garnet (Er:YAG) and the Erbium-Chromium-Yttrium-Scallium-Gallium-Garnet (Er,Cr:YSGG).
  • CO2 and Nd:YAG lasers are used for soft tissue procedures, such as lesion removal and frenectomies.
  • Semiconductor diode lasers also perform many of the soft-tissue procedures of those lasers, in addition to bleaching.
  • Erbium lasers work well on soft tissue, but their unique contribution to high-tech dentistry is their ability to perform hard tissue procedures, including cavity removal and root canals.

Susan Urbanczyk | EurekAlert!
Further information:

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Space observation with radar to secure Germany's space infrastructure

Satellites in near-Earth orbit are at risk due to the steady increase in space debris. But their mission in the areas of telecommunications, navigation or weather forecasts is essential for society. Fraunhofer FHR therefore develops radar-based systems which allow the detection, tracking and cataloging of even the smallest particles of debris. Satellite operators who have access to our data are in a better position to plan evasive maneuvers and prevent destructive collisions. From April, 25-29 2018, Fraunhofer FHR and its partners will exhibit the complementary radar systems TIRA and GESTRA as well as the latest radar techniques for space observation across three stands at the ILA Berlin.

The "traffic situation" in space is very tense: the Earth is currently being orbited not only by countless satellites but also by a large volume of space...

Im Focus: Researchers Discover New Anti-Cancer Protein

An international team of researchers has discovered a new anti-cancer protein. The protein, called LHPP, prevents the uncontrolled proliferation of cancer cells in the liver. The researchers led by Prof. Michael N. Hall from the Biozentrum, University of Basel, report in “Nature” that LHPP can also serve as a biomarker for the diagnosis and prognosis of liver cancer.

The incidence of liver cancer, also known as hepatocellular carcinoma, is steadily increasing. In the last twenty years, the number of cases has almost doubled...

Im Focus: Researchers at Fraunhofer monitor re-entry of Chinese space station Tiangong-1

In just a few weeks from now, the Chinese space station Tiangong-1 will re-enter the Earth's atmosphere where it will to a large extent burn up. It is possible that some debris will reach the Earth's surface. Tiangong-1 is orbiting the Earth uncontrolled at a speed of approx. 29,000 km/h.Currently the prognosis relating to the time of impact currently lies within a window of several days. The scientists at Fraunhofer FHR have already been monitoring Tiangong-1 for a number of weeks with their TIRA system, one of the most powerful space observation radars in the world, with a view to supporting the German Space Situational Awareness Center and the ESA with their re-entry forecasts.

Following the loss of radio contact with Tiangong-1 in 2016 and due to the low orbital height, it is now inevitable that the Chinese space station will...

Im Focus: Alliance „OLED Licht Forum“ – Key partner for OLED lighting solutions

Fraunhofer Institute for Organic Electronics, Electron Beam and Plasma Technology FEP, provider of research and development services for OLED lighting solutions, announces the founding of the “OLED Licht Forum” and presents latest OLED design and lighting solutions during light+building, from March 18th – 23rd, 2018 in Frankfurt a.M./Germany, at booth no. F91 in Hall 4.0.

They are united in their passion for OLED (organic light emitting diodes) lighting with all of its unique facets and application possibilities. Thus experts in...

Im Focus: Mars' oceans formed early, possibly aided by massive volcanic eruptions

Oceans formed before Tharsis and evolved together, shaping climate history of Mars

A new scenario seeking to explain how Mars' putative oceans came and went over the last 4 billion years implies that the oceans formed several hundred million...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

New solar solutions for sustainable buildings and cities

23.03.2018 | Event News

Virtual reality conference comes to Reutlingen

19.03.2018 | Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

For graphite pellets, just add elbow grease

23.03.2018 | Materials Sciences

Unique communication strategy discovered in stem cell pathway controlling plant growth

23.03.2018 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Sharpening the X-ray view of the nanocosm

23.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>