The present paper summarizes the results of a study of the morphological, structural and compositional changes caused
on dentin by processing with KrF excimer laser (λ= 248 nm). Different surface textures are achieved depending on the
structure of the samples and on the processing parameters. Independently of the radiation fluence used, a significant
reduction of the organic material content is observed in a surface layer a few nanometers thick, but no significant
changes in the mineral phase occur.
Laser treatment is a promising technique for dental applications such as caries removal, dental hypersensitivity
reduction and improvement of the bond strength between dentin and restoration materials. In this study the
topographic and morphological changes induced in enamel and dentin surfaces by treating with KrF excimer
laser radiation were studied as a function of the number of laser pulses and radiation fluence by scanning electron
microscopy and optical profilometry. For enamel, independently of the fluence used, material removal occurs
preferentially at the prisms sheaths, leading to the formation of surface pits of a few micrometers. For dentin,
a cone-like topography develops when the tubules are approximately parallel to the laser beam direction and
the radiation fluence is within the range 0.5 to 1.5 J/cm2. For higher fluences, the treated surfaces are flat and
covered with a layer of re-solidified materials.