Comparative evaluation of antimicrobial effects of Er:YAG, diode, and CO₂ lasers on titanium discs: an experimental study

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2012 May;70(5):1064-9. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2011.11.021. Epub 2012 Jan 28.


Purpose: This study examined carbon dioxide (CO(2); 10,600 nm), diode (808 nm), and erbium (Er):yttrium-aluminum-garnet (YAG; 2,940 nm) laser applications on Staphylococcus aureus contaminated, sandblasted, large-grit, acid-etched surface titanium discs and performed a comparative evaluation of the obtained bactericidal effects and the applicability of these effects in clinical practice.

Materials and methods: This study was carried out in 5 main groups: Er:YAG laser in very short pulse (VSP) emission mode, Er:YAG laser in short pulse (SP) emission mode, diode laser with a 320-nm fiber optic diode laser with an R24-B handpiece, and CO(2) laser. After laser irradiation, dilutions were spread on sheep blood agar plates and, after an incubation period of 24 hours, colony-forming units were counted and compared with the control group, and the bactericidal activity was assessed in relation to the colony counts.

Results: The CO(2) laser eliminated 100% of the bacteria at 6 W, 20 Hz, and a 10-ms exposure time/pulse with a 10-second application period (0.8-mm spot size). The continuous-wave diode laser eliminated 97% of the bacteria at 1 W using a 10-second application with a 320-μm optic fiber, 100% of the bacteria were killed with a 1-W, 10-second continuous-wave application with an R14-B handpiece. The Er:YAG laser eliminated 100% of the bacteria at 90 mJ and 10 Hz using a 10-second application in a superpulse mode (300-ms exposure time/pulse). The Er:YAG laser also eliminated 99% to 100% of the bacteria in VSP mode at 90 mJ and 10 Hz with a 10-second application.

Conclusions: The results of this study show that a complete, or near complete, elimination of surface bacteria on titanium surfaces can be accomplished in vitro using a CO(2), diode, or Er:YAG laser as long as appropriate parameters are used.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acid Etching, Dental / methods
  • Bacterial Load / radiation effects
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Decontamination / methods
  • Dental Etching / methods
  • Dental Materials / radiation effects*
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Gas / therapeutic use*
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Lasers, Solid-State / therapeutic use*
  • Materials Testing
  • Optical Fibers
  • Radiation Dosage
  • Staphylococcus aureus / radiation effects*
  • Surface Properties
  • Time Factors
  • Titanium / radiation effects*


  • Dental Materials
  • Titanium