Is there a difference in tooth structure removed with an erbium laser vs. a rotary instrument?
This is a summary of the article: "Composite removal by means of erbium, chromium:yttrium-scandium-gallium-garnet laser compared with rotary instruments" in the December 2019 edition of the Journal of the American Dental Association.
Complete removal of existing composite restorations without unnecessary removal of tooth structure is challenging. The authors compared the amount of tooth structure removed and composite remaining in Class III preparations when using an erbium laser or a rotary instrument.
Erbium lasers are alternative means of composite removal that may be more selective than a rotary instrument.
The erbium, chromium:yttrium-scandium-gallium garnet laser was more selective in removing existing composite restorations than a rotary instrument because it removed less tooth structure and left behind less composite.
Unintentional loss of tooth structure and unnoticeable residual composite are inevitable when removing existing composites.
When removing existing composite restorations, an Er,Cr:YSGG laser saved more tooth structure than did a rotary instrument. In addition, fewer composite remnants were left in the preparation when using the Er,Cr:YSGG laser for composite restoration removal.
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Chiraz Guessaier, CDA Oasis Manager