Historically, 810nm has been the predominant wavelength used for intraoral surgery, when diode lasers have been discussed, due to their large numbers in the market place. The techniques used intraorally with the 810nm diode have been relatively similar in most cases. Low powers, 1 or 2 watts, using continuous wave, are employed.
The purpose of this study is to compare the thermal damage of the technique of using continuous wave at low powers, to using higher powers with a pulse mode and water for coolant, with the 980nm diode wavelength. During the study the laser fiber was held immobile eliminating surgical manipulation as an error.
The resultant histology proves, while the volume of vaporization dramatically increases, thus giving the clinician the ability to reduce the time for destructive conduction of excess heat for a given procedure, the amount of coagulation actually decreases in width and depth. As an added benefit charring, which has been implicated in delayed healing is virtually eliminated. This evidence, coupled with excellent clinical results, lends validity to the use of pulsed higher powers and water coolant for the 980nm diode laser.