Quintessence Int 30 (1999), No. 12 (01.12.1999)
Effects of Nd:YAG lasers on root canal walls: A light and scanning electron microscopic study
Barbakow, Fred / Peters, Ove / Havranek, Ladislav
Objective: This study evaluated amounts of debris, smear layer, and recrystallized dentin on root canal walls treated with an Nd:YAG laser. The presence of carbonized material was also assessed. Method and materials: The root canals of 36 extracted incisors were prepared by stepdown and stepback techniques and divided into 4 groups. One group was not treated further, while 3 others were exposed to the laser beam at an energy density of 159, 239, or 318 J/cm2. The roots were split longitudinally, photographed, and examined using a scanning electron microscope. The amounts of debris, smear layer, and recrystallized dentin were recorded from horizontal bands around the root, 2, 6, and 10 mm from the apices. Results: Mean smear layer scores were similar for all groups at the 3 levels examined, ranging from 2.157 to 2.851 on a scale of 0.0 to 3.0. Mean debris scores were similar for all groups at the 3 levels examined, ranging from 0.774 to 1.408 on a scale of 0.0 to 3.0. Recrystallized dentin was recorded in all 3 irradiated groups at the 2-mm level, but only in the group irradiated with 318 J/cm2 at the 6- and 10-mm levels. Severe carbonization was recorded at the 2-mm level. Conclusion: Use of the Nd:YAG laser did not reduce the mean amounts of debris and smear layer compared to a nonirradiated group. Carbonization was recorded in the apical part of the canal, but this is not obvious when only scanning electron photomicrographs are examined.