Application of laser technology for removal of caries: a systematic review of controlled clinical trials

Jacobsen, T.; Norlund, A.; Englund, G.S.; Tranæus, S.

Acta Odontologica Scandinavica 69(2): 65-74


ISSN/ISBN: 1502-3850
PMID: 21319941
DOI: 10.3109/00016357.2010.536901
Accession: 051610771

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To evaluate the scientific evidence regarding laser technology for removal of carious tissue. A search for literature on the effect of treatment and on economic aspects of laser technology identified 23 papers. No relevant studies on economic aspects were found. Regarding the effect of treatment, 16 papers were selected for assessment according to established criteria. Cavity preparation and caries excavation by erbium laser were evaluated in three studies of medium quality. The time required to remove carious tissue was evaluated in five studies assessed as being of medium quality for this outcome. In four studies the effect of laser treatment on the dental pulp was included as an outcome but, due to the short follow-up time, the quality was assessed as low. Two studies that included the longevity of the restoration as an outcome were also assessed as being of low quality because the follow-up time was inadequate. Patient response was evaluated in three studies, which were assessed as being of medium quality with respect to this outcome. There is limited scientific evidence that laser treatment is as effective as a rotary bur for removing carious tissue. Treatment time is prolonged. There is limited scientific evidence that adults prefer laser treatment. No conclusions can be drawn regarding biological or technical complications, children's perception of laser treatment or the cost-effectiveness of the method.