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Dr. Wayne Selting: The Effect of Quartz Tip Wear on Erbium:YAG Laser Ablation Efficiency

30 Days


Erbium laser tip wear occurs rapidly during clinical procedures decreasing light transmission and subsequent ablation efficiency. Quartz tips for the Erbium:YAG laser deteriorate rapidly when ablating dentin at high energy levels as a direct result of high velocity bombardment by calcified debris.

Aggressive contact with the tooth surface during ablation can also cause significant tip damage.
This article describes a study determining the decrease in efficiency in a very short time and details a technique to polish quartz tips effectively and efficiently.

After reading this article, the practitioner should:

1. Understand the extent of erbium tip damage during use
2. Understand the effect of tip wear on ablation efficiency
3. Be able to effectively polish laser tips to maintain their functional use

(1 CEU)