Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Efficacy of photon induced photoacoustic streaming (PIPS) on root canals infected with Enterococcus faecalis: A pilot study

For years now, hard tissue laser users have been hoping to see a true endodontic application.  Unfortunately, it's been something that has remained just out of reach… until now..  The problem has always been that despite the efficiency and advantages of lasers, you just can't bend light.  This has meant that a laser application for root canals would only work in perfectly straight canals.  Of course, that's not possible so users have waited for a better way.
Now comes a concept that uses laser light, only it's used in a way that is an " outside the box" application which completely changes the ideas of lasers in endodontics.  Read on for the abstract details of this study and follow the link at the end for the complete article as well as a CE exam.  Here is the abstract:


Eradication of microorganisms from an infected root canal before obturation is a primary focus of endodontic treatment, as well as the best predictor for the long-term success of the endodontic therapy. The purpose of this in vitro laboratory study was to evaluate the efficacy of a new tapered and stripped Er:YAG laser tip using PIPS (Photon Induced Photoacoustic Streaming) in root canals infected with Enterococcus faecalis (ATCC4082). Methods: Twenty-four freshly extracted single-rooted human teeth were collected and inoculated with E. faecalis. After 4 weeks, the teeth were divided in four groups, two experimental, one positive, and one negative group. Laser treatment was performed for a period of 20 seconds with 6% sodium hypochlorite in groups 1 and 2, while PBS was used for group 3 and 4.

Furthermore, dentin debris was produced, and colony-forming units were determined. Results: The combinations of 20 seconds laser activated irrigation with Er:YAG Laser and 6% sodium hypochlorite showed 100% inhibition using PIPS of growth of E. faecalis compared to 50% inhibition with the combination of Er:YAG Laser and PBS. Conclusions: The PIPS technology is efficient tool in elimination of Enterococcus faecalis from infected root canals.

For the full article and CE quiz, go to:



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  3. Root canals become necessary when the nerve, becomes inflamed, infected or dies. If the tooth is not treated it will lead to pain and eventually an abscess. This can be caused by deep decay, repeated dental procedures, or a chip or crack in the tooth. Trauma or a blow to the tooth can also cause this.