Dental composites are used as restorative materials for filling cavities, shaping, and covering teeth for
esthetic purposes, and as adhesives. Dentists spend more time replacing existing restorations that fail than
they do placing new restorations. Tooth colored restorations are difficult to differentiate from the
surrounding tooth structure making them challenging to remove without damaging healthy tooth structure.
Previous studies have demonstrated that CO2 lasers in conjunction with spectral feedback can be used to
selectively remove composite from tooth surfaces. The purpose of this study is to assemble a system that is
feasible for clinical use incorporating a spectral feedback system, a scanning system, articulating arm and a
clinical handpiece and then evaluate the performance of that system on extracted teeth. In addition, the
selectivity of composite removal was analyzed using a high-speed optical coherence tomography system that
is suitable for clinical use. The system was capable of rapidly removing composite from small preparations
on tooth occlusal surfaces with a mean loss of enamel of less than 20-μm.
Andrew T. Jang, Kenneth H. Chan, and Daniel Fried, "Automated ablation of dental composite using an IR pulsed laser coupled to a plume emission spectral feedback system," Proc. SPIE 10044, Lasers in Dentistry XXIII, 100440E (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 29, 2017; Published: 8 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2256698.
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