Date: 19 Jul 2013

Simulation of temperature and thermally induced stress of human tooth under CO2 pulsed laser beams using finite element method

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The authors report the simulation of temperature distribution and thermally induced stresses of human tooth under CO2 pulsed laser beam. A detailed tooth structure comprising enamel, dentin, and pulp with realistic shapes and thicknesses were considered, and a numerical method of finite element was adopted to solve time-dependent bio-heat and stress equations. The realistic boundary conditions of constant temperature for those parts embedded in the gingiva and heat flux condition for those parts out of the gingiva were applied. The results which were achieved as a function of energy density (J/cm2) showed when laser beam is irradiated downward (from the top of the tooth), the temperature and thermal stresses decrease quickly as a function of depth that is a result of strong absorption of CO2 beams by enamel. This effect is so influential that one can use CO2 beams to remove micrometer layers while underlying tissues, especially the pulp, are safe from thermal effects.