Laser treatment is a promising technique for dental applications such as caries prevention, dental hypersensitivity reduction and improvement of bond strength of restoration materials. In this study the morphological, structural and chemical changes of enamel surface due to treatment with KrF excimer laser radiation were evaluated using scanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy. For radiation fluences near 1 J/cm², laser processing originates a relatively porous surface due to preferential removal of material in the enamel prism sheaths. Increasing the fluence leads to a relatively flat surface with clear evidence of surface melting. The X-ray diffractograms of both treated and untreated enamel are similar and correspond to hydroxyapatite. The only modification due to the laser treatment is a slight shift of the peaks, probably, due to a loss of the structural water of hydroxyapatite. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy confirmed that organic matter is removed from the irradiated surface but no significant changes in the mineral phase occur.
Dr. Sivakumar M., Oliveira, V., Vilar, R., and Rego, A. M. Botelho do, “KrF Excimer Laser Ablation of Human Enamel”, in Materials Science Forum, 2008.