Evolution of the bubble - new frontiers in laser endodontics
Disinfection and elimination of the microbial flora from the root canal system is one of the main goals of endodontic treatment.
Because of the complex anatomy of the root canal system, beside mechanical instrumentation and conventional syringe irrigation, other methods have been used to enhance disinfection of the root canal system; namely sonic and ultrasonic irrigation, apical negative pressure irrigation, continuous irrigation and laser activated irrigation (LAI).
The Fotona PIPS system (Photon induced photoacoustic streaming) is a novel application for laser activated irrigation. It uses the Er:YAG laser with a wavelength of 2940 nm, which is delivered to the irrigant in the access cavity with a conical and stripped fibre tip. Due to the Er:YAG laser-light being highly absorptive in water, it causes boiling and micro-explosions in the irrigant solution, which induces cavitation bubbles. Research in this field led to the development of SWEEPS(R) (Shock Wave Enhanced Emission Photoacoustic Streaming), which is a revolutionary method for cleaning and disinfecting the root canal system. It utilises the power of the Er:YAG laser to create powerful deeply penetrating shockwaves within the cleaning and debriding solutions, with irrigants penetrating deep into lateral canals and microscopic dentinal tubules to disinfect dentinal walls by removing tissue, debris, biofilm and bacteria. An important advantage of the SWEEPS(R) laser endodontic treatment is that it cleans and disinfects root canal systems more effectively compared to conventional treatments. Additionally, due to its ability to clean narrow areas of complex root canal structure, the final file size required for canal shaping can be significantly reduced, allowing for minimally invasive preparations. This means overall treatment time is also shortened and fewer follow-up visits are required, which is highly appreciated by patients.
SWEEPS(R) promises to represent an entirely new way of thinking about root-canal therapy. With SWEEPS(R), practitioners are able to offer patients faster, safer and more effective root-canal treatments.
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