Laser-assisted prevention of enamel caries: a 10-year review of the literature

  • Mohammed Abbood Al-MalikyEmail author
  • Matthias Frentzen
  • Jörg Meister
Review Article


Since the invention of lasers in dentistry, investigations in caries prevention by the use of laser radiation have been proposed. There are several mechanisms stated for this purpose such as photothermal and/or photochemical interaction processes with the enamel. Alone or in conjugation with topical fluoride application, this treatment modality may improve enamel acid resistance in high-caries-risk populations. Data collection was done by searching the keywords caries, prevention, and laser in PubMed, Embase, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar. Lasing protocols of the collected literature and their effectiveness as well as examination methods used to verify treatment outcomes have been evaluated. One hundred eighteen publications were found for the last 10 years. The wavelengths investigated for caries prevention are mainly located in the near and the mid-infrared spectral range. In the evaluated period of time, investigations using CO2; Er:YAG; Er,Cr:YSGG; Er:YLF; fundamental, second, and third harmonic generations of Nd:YAG; diodes; and argon ion lasers were found in the databases. Accounting for 39% of the literature, CO2 laser was the most examined system for this purpose. Reviewing the literature in this narrative review showed that all laser systems presented a positive effect in varying degrees. Laser irradiation could be an alternative or synergistic to topical fluoridation for enamel caries prevention with longer lasting effect. Further research should be focused on selecting proper laser settings to avoid damage to enamel and developing effective evidence-based clinical protocols.


Caries Prevention Laser Fluoride Enamel Acid resistance 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This type of publication does not require ethical review.

Informed consent

This type of publication does not require informed consent.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London Ltd., part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Periodontology, Operative and Preventive Dentistry, Dental FacultyUniversity of BonnBonnGermany
  2. 2.Center of Applied Medical Laser Research and Biomedical Optics (AMLaReBO)University of BonnBonnGermany
  3. 3.Department of Biomedical Applications, Institute of Laser for Postgraduate StudiesUniversity of BaghdadBaghdadIraq

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