2016 Volume 35 Issue 1 Pages 51-62
Though the Er:YAG laser (ErL) has been used in periodontal therapy, the irradiated tip damage has not been studied in detail. In this study, the change in the energy output, surface morphology, and temperature of quartz tips was evaluated following contact irradiation. Soft tissue, calculus on extracted human teeth, and porcine bone were irradiated by ErL for 60 min at 14.2 or 28.3 J/cm2/pulse and 20 Hz with or without water spray. The energy output ratio declined the most in the calculus group, followed by the bone and soft tissue groups with and/or without water spray. Carbon contamination was detected in all groups, and contamination by P, Ca, and/or other inorganic elements was observed in the calculus and bone groups. The rate of energy output reduction and the degree of surface alteration/contamination is variously influenced by the targeting tissue, temperature elevation of the tip and water spray.