Effect of the CO2 laser (9.6 μm) on the dental pulp in humans

Harvey Wigdor*, Joseph T. Walsh, Reza Mostofi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


There has been great interest in the potential use of a laser to replace the dental handpiece (drill). Ideally a laser emitting radiation that is absorbed strongly by both the water and hydroxyapitite in teeth, would be a more efficient laser. Previous investigators showed that the 9.3 and 9.6 micron wavelength bands of the CO2 laser contain hydroxyapitite absorption peaks. For this study, human patients who were to have teeth removed for either orthodontic or periodontal reasons were used. A total of 16 teeth were irradiated. The number of teeth treated per patient varied from 1-4. The laser used was a prototype CO2 laser (ESC Medical Systems, Yokneam, Israel). The CO2 laser emits 50 mJ 60 μsec-long pulses of 9.6 μm radiation in a beam focused to a 300 μm diameter (i/e2) spot. The pulps in both the laser and handpiece prepared holes appeared similar and had no apparent inflammation or vascular changes. It appears from this small sample of laser treated human teeth that this laser has an equal effect to the dental pulpal tissue when compared to the dental handpiece.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)158-163
Number of pages6
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2000
EventLasers in Dentistry VI - San Jose, CA, USA
Duration: Jan 23 2000Jan 24 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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