In dentistry, the use of lasers in endodontic treatment is of increasing interest. Advances in laser technology and a better understanding of the effects of lasers have widened the spectrum of possible uses of lasers in endodontology. Various commercial laser systems (e.g., argon ion diode, neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet [Nd:YAG], erbium:yttrium aluminum garnet [Er:YAG], and carbon dioxide [CO2] lasers) are available for endodontic diagnostic procedures, treatment of cervical hypersensitivity, direct/indirect pulp capping, sterilization and/or instrumentation of the root canal, and for endodontic surgery. The development of newer delivery systems—using thinner and more flexible optical fibers—has resulted in an ever-increasing number of laser wave lengths, and the feasibility of many laser applications in endodontic therapy has greatly improved.
Despite the technical advances mentioned above, the use of lasers in endodontic practice in place of conventional procedures has not yet become widely accepted. This may be due in part to the relatively high initial investment costs, and also because in most clinical applications laser-assisted techniques are used, which complement conventional procedures but do not replace them.