The first laser was developed in 1960, and many other lasers and laser systems were created rapidly thereafter. Dental researchers began investigating lasers potential too. For example, Stern and Sognnaes reported in 1965 that a ruby laser could vaporize enamel. In 1989, the first laser specifically designed for dental use became available. Nowadays there are dozens of indications for use with various dental laser devices, and the clinical applications continue to increase. In the last two decades, there has been an explosion of research studies in laser application. In hard tissue application, the laser is used for caries prevention, bleaching, restorative removal and curing, cavity preparation, dentinal hypersensitivity, growth modulation, and for diagnostic purposes, whereas soft tissue application includes wound healing, removal of hyperplastic tissue to the uncovering of impacted or partially erupted tooth, photodynamic therapy for malignancies, photostimulation of herpetic lesion.
Lasers are generically named for the material contained with the center of the device, called an optical cavity. One common for dentistry type of fiber lasers is a fiber laser with carbon dioxide as a gaseous active medium. The other devices are either solid rods of garnet crystal combined with other elements or solid-state semiconductor fiber lasers are called diodes, and the crystal fiber lasers are designed with acronyms such as Nd:YAG, and suchlike.
Each wavelength has a somewhat unique effect on dental structures, due to the specific absorption of that laser energy in the tissue. Lasers in dentistry can be categorized into three groups:
- Diode and Nd:YAG laser wavelengths target the pigments in soft tissue and pathogens as well as inflammatory and vascularized tissue;
- Carbon dioxide lasers interact with water molecules in soft tissue and vaporize the intracellular water of pathogens;
- Erbium lasers (Er, Cr:YSGG and Er:YAG) interact with the water of soft and hard tissue. Erbium-doped lasers have an excellent thermal relaxation and very little collateral thermal damage occurs in tissues when proper parameters are followed. Erbium lasers can be used anywhere a scalpel is employed including periodontal procedures, gingival contouring, biopsies, frenectomies, pre-prosthetic procedures, and the like.
There are two basic emission modes for dental lasers: continuous wave and pulsed. Continuous wave lasers emit the energy constantly for as long as the fiber laser is activated: carbon dioxide and diode lasers operate in this manner. Nd:YAG, Er:YAG and Er:YSGG devices operate as free-running pulsed lasers.
Optromix Inc., headquartered in Cambridge, MA, USA, is a manufacturer of laser technologies, optical fiber sensors, and optical monitoring systems. We develop and manufacture a broad variety of fiber lasers, СО₂ lasers, Ti:Sapphire lasers, dye lasers, and excimer lasers. We offer simple erbium laser and ytterbium laser products, as well as sophisticated laser systems with unique characteristics, based on the client’s inquiry. We manufacture lasers using our own technologies based on the advanced research work and patents of international R&D team. Laser processes are of high quality, high precision, easily-automated manufacturing solutions that provide repeatability and flexibility.
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