In addition to their use for the painless removal of dental decay, lasers are also well suited to modify the chemical composition of the mineral phase of dental hard tissues in order to render the tissues more resistant to acid dissolution and for the modification of the hard tissue morphology for better adhesion to restorative materials. In this paper the principal applications of lasers for the processing of dental hard tissues are discussed with an emphasis on the influence of an externally applied layer of water. The presence of an optically thick layer of water profoundly influences the phase composition of the laser irradiated tissue surface and the morphology resulting in more efficient ablation, better adhesion and improved resistance to acid dissolution.
Daniel Fried, Daniel Fried,
"Laser processing of dental hard tissues (Invited Paper)", Proc. SPIE 5713, Photon Processing in Microelectronics and Photonics IV, (12 April 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.598149; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.598149