It has been proposed that the Er:YAG laser may be used for cavity preparation in order to produce better surface adhesion of pit and fissure sealants, and thus reduce microleakage. A study by Lupi-Pegurier, et al originally published in the Journal of Dentistry for Children, analyzed 60 noncarious extracted molar teeth to determine if the Er:YAG laser alone, or the laser plus acid etching, improved sealant adhesion and microleakage. Fissures in the medial half of each tooth were widened mechanically with a bur, then etched for 15 seconds. In one group of teeth the distal half was prepared with the Er:YAG laser alone, and in another group the distal half was prepared with the laser followed by acid etching. Sealant was then applied to the teeth, and the different methods were evaluated in terms of microleakage. The study found that some degree of leakage occurred in all teeth, but leakage was greater when the laser was used without acid etching. The lowest levels of micro-leakage occurred in fissures widened with the diamond bur plus etching, yet the difference between the bur and the laser, plus etching, was not statistically significant. The study concluded that when used with etching, both bur preparation and laser preparation experienced low microleakage, but the use of the laser alone did not prevent microleakage.
(Source: Dental Abstracts, Vol. 49, Issue 2, 2004)