The concept of using specific laser treatment to prevent the progression of dental caries in enamel is close to becoming an exciting clinical reality. The overall objective of the studies is to develop an in-depth understanding of the interactions of laser light with dental hard tissues (enamel and dentin) and to establish a scientific basis for the safe and effective use of lasers on these tissues. The underlying hypothesis to be tested in the present proposal is that efficient conversion of light to heat results in changes in crystal composition and structure which increase the resistance of dental mineral (enamel and dentin) to dissolution by acid.
Specific Aims : (1) To conduct a pilot scale clinical study of caries inhibition in living teeth in humans using caries in enamel around orthodontic brackets as a model system. (2) To test the hypothesis that laser irradiation conditions that provide caries inhibition for enamel and dentin will not have undesirable effects on the mechanical properties of the tissues. (3) To test the hypothesis that the addition of a highly absorbing layer of water to the surface of dental enamel during ablation by IR laser irradiation eliminates secondary non-apatite phases of calcium phosphate and allows the laser irradiation to markedly reduce the acid solubility of the enamel. (4) To test the hypothesis that the specific sets of laser irradiation conditions previously shown to most effectively interact with enamel to induce resistance to dental caries can be modified for caries inhibition in dentin. The proposed studies will provide information that will lead to an improved method for treating pit and fissure caries, the caries form that is most prevalent today. Further, the treatment of dentinal and root caries may be possible by the use of lasers. Additionally, the studies are expected to lead to the identification of laser irradiation conditions that can be used not only for caries prevention, but also for removal of carious lesions. The development of economical, physically manageable, low energy lasers for caries prevention and removal in the dental office, that operate at specifically designed wavelength, pulse duration, and fluence conditions, is a real and exciting possibility for the future. ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research (NIDCR)
Research Project (R01)
Project #
Application #
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-MOSS-B (03))
Program Officer
Drummond, James A
Project Start
Project End
Budget Start
Budget End
Support Year
Fiscal Year
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
University of California San Francisco
Schools of Dentistry
San Francisco
United States
Zip Code
Rechmann, Peter; Charland, Daniel A; Rechmann, Beate M T et al. (2013) In-vivo occlusal caries prevention by pulsed CO2 -laser and fluoride varnish treatment--a clinical pilot study. Lasers Surg Med 45:302-10
Rechmann, Peter; Fried, Daniel; Le, Charles Q et al. (2011) Caries inhibition in vital teeth using 9.6-*m CO2-laser irradiation. J Biomed Opt 16:071405
de Freitas, PatrĂ­cia M; Rapozo-Hilo, Marcia; Eduardo, Carlos de P et al. (2010) In vitro evaluation of erbium, chromium:yttrium-scandium-gallium-garnet laser-treated enamel demineralization. Lasers Med Sci 25:165-70
Darling, Cynthia L; Le, Charles Q; Featherstone, John D B et al. (2009) An Automated Digital Microradiography System for Assessing Tooth Demineralization. Proc SPIE Int Soc Opt Eng 7162:
Rodrigues, L K A; Nobre Dos Santos, M; Featherstone, J D B (2006) In situ mineral loss inhibition by CO2 laser and fluoride. J Dent Res 85:617-21
Fried, Daniel; Featherstone, John D B; Le, Charles Q et al. (2006) Dissolution studies of bovine dental enamel surfaces modified by high-speed scanning ablation with a lambda = 9.3-microm TEA CO(2) laser. Lasers Surg Med 38:837-45
Gerard, D E; Fried, D; Featherstone, J D B et al. (2005) Influence of laser irradiation on the constant composition kinetics of enamel dissolution. Caries Res 39:387-92
Goodis, Harold E; Fried, Daniel; Gansky, Stuart et al. (2004) Pulpal safety of 9.6 microm TEA CO2 laser used for caries prevention. Lasers Surg Med 35:104-10
Fried, Daniel; Zuerlein, Michael J; Le, Charles Q et al. (2002) Thermal and chemical modification of dentin by 9-11-microm CO2 laser pulses of 5-100-micros duration. Lasers Surg Med 31:275-82
Featherstone, J D B (2002) [Lasers in dentistry 3. The use of lasers for the prevention of dental caries] Ned Tijdschr Tandheelkd 109:162-7

Showing the most recent 10 out of 19 publications