Gerbi, M. E. M. D. ; Harvey, C. M. ; Chan, J. W. ; Ivaldi, J. C. ; Phillips, A. ; Smith, D. ; Smith, Z. J. ; Wachsmann-Hogiu, S.
dental caries; ultra-short lasers; thermal effects; atomic spectroscopy;INDUCED BREAKDOWN SPECTROSCOPY; QUANTITATIVE-ANALYSIS; REPETITION-RATE; TISSUE; FLUORESCENCE; CARIES; LIBS; BONE; IDENTIFICATION; ENAMEL
The goal of this work is to investigate the thermal effects of femtosecond laser (fs-laser) ablation for the removal of carious dental tissue. Additional studies identify different tooth tissues through femtosecond laser induced breakdown spectroscopy (fsLIBS) for the development of a feedback loop that could be utilized during ablation in a clinical setting. Scanning Election Microscope (SEM) images reveal that minimal morphological damages are incurred at repetition rates below the carbonization threshold of each tooth tissue. Thermal studies measure the temperature distribution and temperature decay during laserablation and after laser cessation, and demonstrate that repetition rates at or below 10kHz with a laser fluence of 40 J/cm(2) would inflict minimal thermal damage on the surrounding nerve tissues and provide acceptable clinical removal rates. Spectral analysis of the different tooth tissues is also conducted and differences between the visible wavelength fsLIBS spectra are evident, though more robust classification studies are needed for clinical trans-lation. These results have initiated a set of precautionary recommendations that would enable the clinician to utilize femtosecond laser ablation for the removal of carious lesions while ensuring that the solidity and utility of the tooth remain intact.