Laser/Light Application in Dental Procedures

  • Steven Parker


The oral cavity is a relatively confined anatomical region, with a close approximation of hard and soft tissue structures. The comparatively delicate nature of each tissue structure places demands on surgical techniques using lasers and the maximum power parameters used.

The predictable application of any laser wavelength currently commercially-available may be viewed as an expression of incident power and the targeting of a predominant chromophore in the exposed tissue. By way of exploring laser use in dentistry, this may be summarised as surgical management of oral hard tissue and soft tissue, non-surgical application and anti-bacterial applications.

Laser use in clinical dentistry has spanned 25 years. Although early laser use in general surgery (notably Carbon Dioxide, wavelength 10.6 μm) was applied to soft tissue surgical procedures in the mouth, the first true dental laser was a Neodymium YAG (1.064 μm) which was launched in 1989. From there the next 5 years witnessed the emergence of other major wavelengths, notably the two Erbium wavelengths (Er:YAG and Er,Cr:YSGG) and Diode group of semiconductor based technology. Latterly, the most recent 5–10 years has seen an emergence of technical developments to optimise the interaction of chosen laser photonic emission with target oral tissue; this manipulation of energy and time parameters shows may herald even greater application of lasers in dentistry.

The current commercial developments in wavelength application in dentistry have resulted in lasers whose emissions span the visible, near-, mid- and far-infra-red portions of the electromagnetic spectrum.

Non-surgical, low level laser applications include photo-biomodulation, diagnostics, photo-activated anti-bacterial processes, laser tooth whitening and laser-scanning of tooth cavity preparations.


Laser dentistry Oral soft tissue Oral hard tissue Photothermolysis Photobiomodulation Spallation Antibacterial photodynamic therapy 


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical Sciences and Integrated DiagnosticsUniversity of GenoaGenoaItaly
  2. 2.HarrogateUK

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