Potential mechanism for the laser-fluoride effect on enamel demineralization

Y. Liu, C. Y.S. Hsu, C. M.J. Teo, S. H. Teoh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Laser-induced prevention of dental caries has been studied extensively. However, the cariostatic mechanisms of a combined fluoride-laser treatment are not well-understood. Using micro- computed tomography (micro-CT), we quantified the effect of fluoride and/or Er:YAG laser treatment on enamel demineralization. The mean mineral loss (%/V) for each group was 4,870 ± 1,434 (fluoride followed by laser treatment), 6,341 ± 2,204 (laser treatment), 7,669 ± 2,255 (fluoride treatment), and 10,779 ± 2,936 (control). The preventive effect of the laser (p < 0.001) and fluoride (p = 0.010) treatment was statistically significant. Characterized by micro-x-ray diffraction (XRD) analysis, the significant contraction in the a-axis after both laser and combined laser/fluoride treatment was revealed (both p < 0.05). In conclusion, subablative low-energy Er:YAG laser irradiation following fluoride treatment may instantaneously transform enamel hydroxyapatite into fluoridated hydroxyapatite to reduce enamel solubility as a preventive treatment for enamel demineralization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)71-75
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of dental research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2013


  • caries
  • low energy
  • micro-CT
  • microXRD
  • mineral loss
  • non-invasive

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Dentistry


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