Diode lasers are becoming quite popular due to their compact size and relatively affordable pricing.A specialized semiconductor that produces monochromatic light when stimulated electrically is common to all diode lasers.A simple laser pointer is an example of a diode laser.Diode lasers can be used in both contact and non-contact mode and can function with continuous wave or gated pulse modes. They are not capable of free running pulsed mode. Diode lasers are invisible near infrared wavelengths and current machines range from 805–1064 nm.One exception is the Diagnodent caries diagnostic laser which uses a visible red wavelength of 655 nm.
Diode lasers are soft tissue only. The chromophores are pigments such as hemoglobin and melanin, similar to the Nd:YAG absorption spectrum. Photothermal interactions predominate whereby diode tissue cutting is via thermal energy.They are quite effective for a host of intraoral soft tissue procedures such as gingivectomy, biopsy, impression troughing, and frenectomy.Diode lasers also exhibit bactericidal capabilities and can be used for adjunctive periodontal procedures.They also are used for laser assisted tooth whitening. Diode lasers have excellent photobiomodulation properties as well.