Objective: The purpose of this investigation was to compare the surface roughness of enamel and dentin following the Er,Cr:YSGG laser irradiation and acid etching.
Background data: Laser-roughened enamel or dentin surfaces have been expected to enhance restorative materials bond strength.
Materials and methods: Er,Cr:YSGG laser irradiation was performed in one half of each polished enamel or dentin sample at 3 W (33.9 J/cm2, with air 70% and water 20%,) pulse energy for 6 sec. Then the other half was treated with 37% phosphoric acid for 30 sec. Surface roughness and morphological studies were performed.
Results: It was found that surface roughness was significantly increased with the laser system. Scanning electron microscopy analysis showed that irradiated surface produces a rough surface that was completely lacking of a smear layer; there was also no cracking of enamel or dentin.
Conclusion: Er,Cr:YSGG laser irradiation could provide an effective and alternative method to the acid etch technique.