, Volume 79, Issue 3, pp 269-271
Date: 24 Jun 2004

Tooth ablation using a CPA-free thin disk femtosecond laser system

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Caries – the most frequent cause for dental surgery – still is mainly treated with conventional mechanical drills, although lasers have meanwhile been successfully applied to various clinical disciplines. Since ultrashort laser pulses with sufficient pulse energies have only been available at low repetition rates (< 1 kHz) in recent decades, solely continuous wave radiation or pulse durations longer than thermal diffusion processes were applied with the result of severe thermal damage and pain. In this report we present results on dental tissue ablation obtained with a novel thin disk Yb:KYW regenerative amplifier system that does not require chirped pulse amplification (CPA). We show that femtosecond laser pulses provide us with today’s optimal tool to treat dental decay in an acceptable time, in an excellent quality, and with unsurpassed caries selectivity. The superior quality is a result of the non-thermal laser-tooth interaction. All our results are based on environmental scanning electron microscopy.