Objective: The aim of this FT-Raman study was to investigate laser-induced compositional changes in enamel after therapy with a low-level infrared diode laser and a photoabsorbing cream, in order to intensify the superficial light absorption before and after cariogenic challenge. Background Data: Dental caries remains the most prevalent disease during childhood and adolescence. Preventive modalities include the use of fluoride, reduction of dietary cariogenic refined carbohydrates, plaque removal and oral hygiene techniques, and antimicrobial prescriptions. A relatively simple and noninvasive caries preventive regimen is treating tooth enamel with laser irradiation, either alone or in combination with topical fluoride treatment, resulting in reduced enamel solubility and dissolution rates. Due to their high cost, high-powered lasers are still not widely employed in private practice in developing countries. Thus, low-power red and near-infrared lasers appear to be an appealing alternative.
Materials and Methods: Twenty-four extracted or exfoliated caries-free deciduous molars were divided into six groups: control group (no treatment; n¼8); infrared laser treatment (L; n¼8) (810nm at 100mW=cm2 for 90 sec); infrared diode laser irradiation (810nm at 100mW=cm2 for 90 sec) and photoabsorbing cream (IVL; n¼8); photoabsorbing cream alone (IV; n¼8); infrared diode laser irradiation (810nm at 100mW=cm2 for 90 sec) and fluorinated photoabsorbing agent (IVLF; n¼8); and fluorinated photoabsorbing agent alone (IVF; n¼8). Samples were analyzed using FT-Raman spectroscopy before and after pH cycling cariogenic challenge.
Results: There was a significant laser-induced reduction and possible modification of the
organic matrix content in enamel treated with the low-level diode laser (the L, IVL, and IVFL groups).
Conclusion: The FT-Raman technique may be suitable for detecting compositional and structural changes
occurring in mineral phases and organic phases of lased enamel under cariogenic challenge.