Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 65–73 | Cite as

Caries removal in deciduous teeth using an Er:YAG laser: a randomized split-mouth clinical trial

  • Rodrigo Alexandre Valério
  • Maria Cristina Borsatto
  • Monica Campos Serra
  • Silvana Aparecida Fernandes Polizeli
  • Mariana Alencar Nemezio
  • Rodrigo Galo
  • Carolina Patrícia Aires
  • Ana Carolina dos Santos
  • Silmara Aparecida Milori CoronaEmail author
Original Article



The aim of the present clinical randomized split-mouth study was to evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of an Er:YAG laser for caries removal in primary molars, microbiological dentin analysis, and clinical restorations after 1 year in 29 children.

Materials and methods

The children’s teeth were randomized into two groups: (I) an Er:YAG laser group and (II) a bur preparation group. The efficiency of the treatments (the time necessary for the removal of carious tissue) was evaluated based on the time spent on caries removal in the deciduous molars. The effectiveness (caries removal capacity) of the caries removal was determined by means of a blind test in which the examiner performed a tactile and visual examination of the dentin. Microbiological analysis was performed by counting the Streptococcus mutans and Lactobacillus sp in the remaining dentin. Clinical analysis of restorations was performed using the USPHS method in combination with photographs of restored teeth, 7 days after the restorative procedure and again after 1 year. All cavities were restored with the Adper Single Bond 2/Filtek Z350 system. The obtained data were analyzed with a significance level of 5 %.


The Er:YAG laser was less effective and had the same efficacy as bur preparation during caries removal at the pulpal wall of deciduous molars. In the surrounding walls, bur preparation was the more effective method. Regardless of the method employed, the affected dentin in the pulpal wall had similar amounts of S. mutans and Lactobacillus sp. The restorations were clinically accepted by the USPHS method over a 1-year period.


It can be concluded that caries removal with an Er:YAG laser has no influence on the clinical behavior of restorations.

Clinical relevance

Irradiation with an Er:YAG laser is appropriate for caries removal in primary teeth.


Lasers Dental caries Deciduous tooth Effectiveness Efficiency Microbiological 



This study was supported by FAPESP (2011/00272-5). The author thanks CAPES for the PhD support. The funders had no role in the study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodrigo Alexandre Valério
    • 1
  • Maria Cristina Borsatto
    • 1
  • Monica Campos Serra
    • 2
  • Silvana Aparecida Fernandes Polizeli
    • 1
  • Mariana Alencar Nemezio
    • 1
  • Rodrigo Galo
    • 3
  • Carolina Patrícia Aires
    • 4
  • Ana Carolina dos Santos
    • 4
  • Silmara Aparecida Milori Corona
    • 2
    Email author
  1. 1.Clinical Pediatric Dentistry DepartmentRibeirão Preto School of Dentistry/ São Paulo UniversityRibeirão PretoBrazil
  2. 2.Restorative Dentistry DepartmentRibeirão Preto School of Dentistry/ São Paulo UniversityRibeirão PretoBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Dental Materials and Prosthodontics, Araraquara Dental SchoolState Sao Paulo UniversityAraraquaraBrazil
  4. 4.School of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ribeirão PretoSão Paulo UniversityRibeirão PretoBrazil

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