Poprawe R, Stollenwerk J, Jansen P, Wollgarten S, Fischer H, Liebegall S, Bilandzic M, Meyer-Lueckel H, Esteves-Oliveira M
In the present study, a new automatic laser-processing strategy allowing standardized irradiation of natural tooth areas was investigated. The objective was to find a combination of laser parameters that could cause over a 600°C temperature increase at the enamel surface while not damaging enamel, avoiding temperature change above 5.5°C in the pulp and increasing enamel erosion resistance. Seventy-seven bovine enamel samples were randomly divided into 6 laser groups and 1 negative control (C/no treatment/ n = 11). A scanning strategy (7 × 3 mm) was used for the CO2 laser treatment (λ = 10.6 µm, 0.1-18 J/cm2) with different pulse durations-namely, 20 µs (G20), 30 µs (G30), 55 µs (G55), and 490 µs (G490), as well as 2 modified pulse distances (G33d, G40d). Measurements of temperature change were performed at the surface (thermal camera/50 Hz), at the underside (thermocouples), and at the pulp chamber using a thermobath and human molars ( n = 10). In addition, histology and X-ray diffraction (XRD/ n = 10) were performed. Erosion was tested using an erosive cycling over 6 d, including immersion in citric acid (2 min/0.05 M/pH = 2.3) 6 times daily. Surface loss was measured using a profilometer and statistical analysis with a 2-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (α = 0.05). Only G20 fulfilled the temperature requirements at the surface (619 ± 21.8°C), at the underside (5.3 ± 1.4°C), and at the pulp (2.0 ± 1.0°C), and it caused no mineral phase change and significant reduction of enamel surface loss (-13.2 ± 4.0 µm) compared to C (-37.0 ± 10.1 µm, P < 0.05). A laser-scanning strategy (20 µs/2 kHz/1.25 J/cm2, 3.4 mm/s) has been established that fulfilled the criteria for biological safety and significantly increased enamel erosion resistance (64%) in vitro.