Dental Tribune USA
(Photo: Fotona)

Root canal irrigation using a laser

By Valerie Kanter, DMD
April 26, 2021

There are more than 15 million root canal procedures being performed each year. And for years, dental practitioners have used traditional methods to treat them. But today, research studies are showing that root canal irrigation is more effective and patient-friendly when treated with a laser.

(Photo: Fotona)

With traditional methods, oral infections can happen because microorganisms have not been eliminated from the root canal systems, allowing for recontamination to occur after treatment. In severe cases, studies have shown that oral infections could also affect a patient’s cardiovascular health. It is for this reason that many dental practitioners are upgrading their practices to include a laser.

In my practice, I use the Fotona LightWalker and Fotona’s newest endodontic laser, the SkyPulse. Having the SkyPulse laser allows me to offer technology that preserves the integrity of my patients’ teeth, improves healing times and increases precision during treatment.

I added the SkyPulse to my arsenal of treatment tools because it can produce exceptionally low-energy and short-duration laser pulses optimized to generate a clinically effective photoacoustic effect for endodontic treatment using a method called SWEEPS (Shock Wave Enhanced Emission Photoacoustic Streaming). It is equipped with a 2940nm Er:YAG and offers two additional high-performance diode module accessories to provide a wide range of both soft- and hard-tissue treatment options. In addition to endodontic applications, it has proven success in periodontics, implantology and soft-tissue surgery applications.

For me, having SWEEPS is essential to my patient root canal treatment plan. SWEEPS is a revolutionary method for chemically cleaning and debriding the complex root canal system using Er:YAG laser energy at sub-ablative power levels for a more thorough and precise irrigation. The minimally invasive instrumentation preserves more of the natural tooth structure and thereby improves strength and integrity. Using synchronized pairs of ultra-short pulses, an accelerated collapse of laser-induced bubbles is achieved, leading to enhanced shock wave emission inside even the narrowest root canals. The precise waves of energy thoroughly clean the complex root canal system that traditional methods can sometimes miss. The containment of the shockwaves thoroughly streams these solutions through the entire canal system, enhancing their effectiveness. The canals and subcanals are left clean and the dentinal tubules are free of smear layer. The effectiveness of SWEEPS shouldn’t be underestimated, as it is not uncommon for me to be able to save a patient’s tooth, even when it was deemed to be a loss with traditional treatment methods.

SWEEPS is equally effective for final water rinsing prior to obturation. After sealing the canal, the restoration can be completed finishing off with 1064nm laser photobiomodulation. What do you want in your practice that benefits a patient’s comfort and decreases pain? In my practice and for my patients, it’s photobiomodulation. Having the 1064nm wavelength there to help stimulate healing after my procedures is profoundly different than anything that I have experienced in dentistry. It helps ensure that my patients are comfortable when they leave the office after a treatment.

This laser treatment is far more advanced than traditional irrigation procedure methods because the shockwaves generate cleaning solutions that travel throughout the entire root canal system, disrupt biofilms and eliminate bacteria that would otherwise be left behind to continue to pose a risk on the health of the tooth and patient as a whole. The powerful combination of Fotona’s SkyPulse Endo laser and its SWEEPS treatment represents a unique and highly effective solution for modern endodontics, improving irrigation and disinfection. This method represents an entirely new way of thinking about root canal therapy with patients receiving fast, safe and effective root canal treatments.

(Photo: Fotona)

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