810 vs. 980 nm Dental Lasers: Conductive Vs. Radiant Energy

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This in-depth article compares 810 nm with 980 nm dental lasers, explaining the benefits of the 980 nm wavelength for soft tissue procedures. Considering the absorption characteristics of water and hemoglobin together, 980 nm is the ideal wavelength for both cutting and coagulating soft tissue. The significance of the 980 nm wavelength is that it provides the highest absorption in water and hemoglobin from the same wavelength.

EAST LONGMEADOW, MA; 27 FEBRUARY 2003: Because soft tissue contains a high percentage of water, a dental laser must be well absorbed in water to ablate tissue properly. Also, absorption in hemoglobin is imperative for char-free coagulation and successful, durable hemostasis.

Considering the absorption characteristics of water and hemoglobin together, 980 nm is the ideal wavelength for both cutting and coagulating soft tissue. The significance of the 980 nm wavelength is that it provides the highest absorption in water and hemoglobin from the same wavelength.

The 810 nm Wavelength

In contrast, the 810 nm wavelength is 8 times less absorbed in water than the 980 nm wavelength. 810 nm lasers’ fibers require “conditioning” – or capping – because their wavelengths are not readily absorbed in water and cannot ablate tissue with laser light. The conditioned tips of these fibers heat-up and cut tissue via conductive energy – the same way a hot knife cuts through butter.

The radiant energy (light) from these lasers is absorbed in their conditioned tips – not in water, hemoglobin, or tissue. Therefore, the benefits of its 810 nm wavelength, in terms of its absorption in hemoglobin, can not be realized. Conduction of heat can damage collateral tissue – and cause swelling, tissue necrosis and charring, and patient discomfort.

The 980 nm Wavelength of the biolitec SmilePro (TM) 980

A major benefit of the SmilePro 980’s unique wavelength is its ability to cut and coagulate using radiant laser energy – not conductive energy. Because absorption in hemoglobin and water is optimal at the 980 nm wavelength, as identified by physics and photobiology, their fiber tips do not require conditioning. As a result, laser light cuts and coagulates with the SmilePro 980 – not a “hot tip.”

The SmilePro 980 preserves the surrounding tissue and leaves tooth enamel intact. After surgery with the SmilePro 980, patients leave without charred tissue – which is beneficial not only for cosmetic reasons, but also for fitting the prosthesis during the same visit. The SmilePro 980 is so gentle to gingival tissue that it allows single visit tooth preparation, impression, and surgery – without post-operative swelling or recession of the gingiva.

Because laser light cuts the tissue, the SmilePro 980 maintains a controlled depth of penetration in soft tissue and essentially eliminates collateral tissue damage – achieving beautiful smiles from both sides of the chair! (TM)

About biolitec (TM), Inc.

Established in 1987, biolitec, Inc. manufactures advanced lasers and fiber optic delivery systems for medical and dental applications. Its strength as a vertically integrated manufacturer enables the production of top quality lasers, fibers, handpieces, and accessories – as well as ongoing research into new medical breakthroughs such as photodynamic therapy (PDT).

biolitec, Inc.

515 Shaker Rd.

East Longmeadow, MA 01028

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Joseph Wallace