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History of Lasers in Dentistry

Niels Bohr Theodore Maiman

Laser instruments have gone through decades of research and have their basis in certain theories from the field of quantum mechanics originally formulated during the 1900’s by Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.

Laser instruments have gone through decades of research and have their basis in certain theories from the field of quantum mechanics originally formulated during the 1900’s by Niels Bohr and Albert Einstein.

The laser’s development in dentistry started in the 1960’s by Theodore Maiman. Much of the early in vitro work with the pulsed ruby laser was done by Stern, Sognnaes, and Goldman, using pulse energies of several joules at different pulse durations. By the end of the 1960’s, researchers had concluded that high pulse energies needed to cut teeth with a ruby laser posed a serious risk to the tooth’s nerve and pulp.

The biggest breakthrough in laser dentistry was the development of the first pulsed laser products for hard tissue applications. The work of TD Myers and WD Myers in the mid 1980’s realized that pulsed Nd: YAG lasers were practical for some hard tissue as well as soft tissue dental procedures. The research of dental lasers and its benefits are continuing to expand.

Next: Physics of Lasers »


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