Modified laser fibers in endodontics
a.Background: During root canal treatment, directing laser energy onto the walls of the root canal is essential for effective preparation, smear layer removal and disinfection. b.Purpose: Modification of tip design has shown to help in more effective distribution of laser energy on the walls of the root canal and the shock waves produced in fluids within the canal has shown to enhance smear layer removal c.Methods: laterally emitting fiber optic design was made using a combination of well-controlled etching and abrasion techniques and their emission patterns studied. A diode laser (980 nm) was used to study the emission patterns in teeth coated with thermochromic dye. The tips studied include plain ended (forward emitting) laser fibers; conical laser fibers, side firing honeycomb pattern fibers without a safe end; honeycomb fibers with silver coated ends, conical fibers with selectively abraded tips, and selectively abraded honeycomb fibers with silver coated tips. Also the ability of shock waves to remove smear layer using a Er:YAG, and Er,Cr:YSGG laser was studied. d.Results: The Patented Honeycomb design showed the best lateral emission amongst all groups, with conical tip generated shock waves allowing for the best removal of smear layer. e.Conclusions: Fiber designs that help increase lateral emission may play a vital role in the use of laser technology in Endodontics and possibly other areas in dentistry.
PAEC 2012 Proceedings