Enamel resistance to demineralization following Er:YAG laser etching for bonding orthodontic brackets

Farzaneh Ahrari, Maryam Poosti, Pourya Motahari


Background: Several studies have shown that laser-etching of enamel for bonding orthodontic brackets could be an appropriate alternative for acid conditioning, since a potential advantage of laser could or might be caries prevention. This study compared enamel resistance to demineralization following etching with acid phosphoric or Er:YAG laser for bonding orthodontic brackets.

Materials and Methods: Fifty sound human premolars were divided into two equal groups. In the first group, enamel was etched with 37% phosphoric acid for 15 seconds. In the second group, Er:YAG laser (wavelength, 2 940 nm; 300 mJ/pulse, 10 pulses per second, 10 seconds) was used for tooth conditioning. The teeth were subjected to 4-day PH-cycling process to induce caries-like lesions. The teeth were then sectioned and the surface area of the lesion was calculated in each microphotograph and expressed in pixel. The total surface of each specimen was 196 608 pixels.

Results: Mean lesion areas were 7 171 and 7532 pixels for Laser-etched and Acid-etched groups, respectively. The two sample t-test showed that there was no significant difference in lesion area between the two groups (P = 0.914).

Conclusion: Although Er:YAG laser seems promising for etching enamel before bonding orthodontic brackets, it does not reduce enamel demineralization when exposed to acid challenge.

Key Words: Demineralization, enamel, Er:YAG laser, etching, caries resistance

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