Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Intraoral laser welding: ultrastructural and mechanical analysis to compare laboratory laser and dental laser


Lasers in Medical Science
PublisherSpringer London
ISSN0268-8921 (Print) 1435-604X (Online
Abstract  
The Nd:YAG laser has been used since 1970 in dental laboratories to weld metals on dental prostheses. Recently in several clinical cases, we have suggested that the Nd:YAG laser device commonly utilized in the dental office could be used to repair broken fixed, removable and orthodontic prostheses and to weld metals directly in the mouth. The aim of this work was to evaluate, using scanning electron microscopy (SEM), energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) and dynamic mechanical analysis (DMA), the quality of the weld and its mechanical strength, comparing a device normally used in dental laboratory and a device normally used in the dental office for oral surgery, the same as that described for intraoral welding. Metal plates of a Co-Cr-Mo dental alloy and steel orthodontic wires were subjected to four welding procedures: welding without filler metal using the laboratory laser, welding with filler metal using the laboratory laser, welding without filler metal using the office laser, and welding with filler metal using the office laser. The welded materials were then analysed by SEM, EDS and DMA. SEM analysis did not show significant differences between the samples although the plates welded using the office laser without filler metal showed a greater number of fissures than the other samples. EDS microanalysis of the welding zone showed a homogeneous composition of the metals. Mechanical tests showed similar elastic behaviours of the samples, with minimal differences between the samples welded with the two devices. No wire broke even under the maximum force applied by the analyser. This study seems to demonstrate that the welds produced using the office Nd:YAG laser device and the laboratory Nd:YAG laser device, as analysed by SEM, EDS and DMA, showed minimal and nonsignificant differences, although these findings need to be confirmed using a greater number of samples.

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