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Lasers in Dentistry: Minimally Invasive Instruments for the Modern Practice

Steven R. Pohlhaus, DDS

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Upon completion of this course, the dental professional should be able to:

  • Understand basic laser physics.

  • Describe the concept of stimulated emission and what is an active medium.

  • Differentiate between the concepts of energy versus power.

  • Describe the difference between average power and peak power.

  • Understand the three different laser emission modes and their role in peak power and thermal effects on target tissue.

  • Understand the impact of pulse duration on peak power and thermal effects on target tissue.

  • Define thermal relaxation.

  • State the four types of tissue interaction.

  • Define chromophore.

  • Know the tissue temperatures that result in hyperthermia, coagulation, denaturation, vaporization, and carbonization.

  • Describe the four major categories of dental lasers in use today.

  • State the three safety practices required for all laser types.

  • Understand the role of laser fluorescence in caries diagnosis and management.

  • Know which types of lasers are able to be used on hard tissue.

  • Understand the basic principles of hard tissue ablation and laser restorative techniques.

  • Describe the various soft tissue surgical techniques.

  • Define PIPS and its role in endodontics.

  • State uses of low level laser therapy/biostimulation in dentistry.

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