Zeinoun Toni

Laser in Health Science

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic caused by the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has brought new challenges to dental practice. Although elective procedures should not be performed during this time, urgency and future treatment guidelines must be established for safe management of dental patients and protection of the professional staff.

High power lasers (HPLs) are used to perform soft tissue surgery and other dental procedures such as caries removal, root decontamination, and bone surgery. Some of these lasers, Er,Cr:YSGG, Er:YAG, and CO2 use an air-water spray as a cooling system, which may certainly produce aerosols. Other HPLs such as diode lasers, Nd:YAG, and CO2  do not have a water cooling system and are used mainly in soft tissue surgery and dental decontamination. The interaction of these lasers with biologic tissues produces surgical smoke capable of carrying virus particles, such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and human papillomavirus (HPV). Dentists should be aware of safety rules and other procedures that can diminish the possibility of contamination during aerosol generation. Furthermore, dentists should prefer laser systems used with disposable optic fiber tips whenever possible.

This presentation will discuss the latest developments in the field of lasers in this pandemic period after a brief citation history of WFLD.