ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY. ALEXANDER TSIARAS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY.
Use of laser techniques in dentistry, showing the red aiming beam of a helium/neon laser & the invisible high-power beam of a carbon dioxide laser, working on the root of a molar tooth. The tooth is first drilled in a conventional fashion to penetrate the enamel, before the lasers are introduced. The carbon dioxide laser is certainly capable of drilling through the enamel as well, but problems with over-heating & subsequent destruction of the root still have to be overcome. In future, the use of pulsed lasers (in short bursts) may provide a better method.
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