Pulp histology after Er:YAG laser cavity preparation in subhuman primates--a pilot study.
The aim of the study was to make a direct comparison of the pulpal effects of laser and turbine preparations in subhuman primates. One female baboon (Papio Ursinus ursinus), weighing 15 kg, was used. General anaesthesia was administered (ketamine 100 mg/ml/kg body weight) and maintained with acepromazine (10 mg/ml/kg body weight). Class V cavities were prepared buccally in a total of 28 teeth (7 in each quadrant). Teeth in the upper right and lower left quadrants were prepared using a conventional 330 carbide bur in a high-speed fibre-optic handpiece with copious water spray. Teeth in the upper left and lower right quadrants were prepared using an Er:YAG laser drill (Fotona Twinlight, Llubljana, Slovenia) delivering 500 mJ at a pulse rate of 10 Hz and a wavelength of 2940 nm. The animal was sacrificed after 25 days. After general anaesthesia as described before, perfusion fixation of the head was accomplished with 10% neutral buffered formalin, pumped through a catheter inserted into the left carotid artery. The jaws were removed and, using a 330 carbide bur in a high speed handpiece, a continuous groove was cut through the bone and the roots at the level of the middle third of all the roots to promote thorough fixation of pulpal tissue. Decalcification and grading of the severity of the pulpal responses were conducted according to standard procedures. RESULTS: Owing to procedural errors seven teeth, FDI numbers 23, 24, 31, 34, 35, 44 and 45, had to be eliminated. The turbine-prepared teeth (N = 11) had a mean remaining dentine thickness (RDT) of 0.77 mm (SD = 0.42) and the laser-prepared teeth (N = 10) had a mean RDT of 0.81 mm (SD = 0.60). All pulps appeared normal except in one turbine-prepared tooth (12 with RDT = 0.20) and one laser-prepared tooth (27 with RDT = 0.30, where irreversible damage was caused. The only other deviations from normal were seen in the laser-treated 41 (RDT = 0.69) and the turbine-treated 36 (RDT = 0.77) where moderate hyperaemia was seen. Within the limitations of this study it can be concluded that there is no significant difference between dental pulp of teeth where Class V cavities were prepared with an Er:YAG laser drill compared with those prepared with a standard turbine drill.