Laser Fiber-Optic Modifications and Their Role in Endodontics
A major issue when lasers are used in endodontics is achieving the correct distribution of energy in the root canal. Conventional fiber designs emit energy in the forward direction, with a divergence of approximately 20More recently, fibers have been developed with conical tips to achieve a wider distribution of laser energy. Since 2008, a number of alternative designs of the fiber-optic tips for endodontics has been developed which give greater lateral emissions. Such fibers have been used for diagnosing the presence of bacteria and biofilms in the root canal. They can also be used with pulsed erbium lasers to generate shockwaves in aqueous fluids. These shockwaves, directed on the walls of the root canals and also into lateral canals, deltas, and isthmus areas, can activate EDTA and provide enhanced removal of the smear layer. Because the tips have little forward emission, the risk of extruding irrigation fluids past the root canal apex is no greater than when conventional irrigation needles are used in the root canal. A further advantage of these lateral-emitting tip designs is that they do not require complex movements or withdrawal patterns to achieve even irradiation of the root canal walls. Using such conical fibers for diagnostic applications is also possible.
Journal of Laser Dentistry
Dental Materials and Equipment