Photoacoustic Endodontics Using the Novel SWEEPS Er:YAG Laser Modality

A new SWEEPS (Shock Wave Enhanced Emission Photoacoustic Streaming) modality for Er:YAG laser is presented, developed especially to improve the cleaning and disinfecting efficacy of laser-assisted endodontic procedures. Typically, shock waves are not emitted during laser-assisted irrigation of spatially confined root canals. However, by using the new SWEEPS modality, an acceleration of the collapse of the laser-induced bubbles is achieved, leading to the emission of shock waves also into narrow root canals. The emitted primary shock waves that reach the smear layer at super-sonic speeds and the shear flows created by the fast collapse of secondary bubbles near the canal walls enhance the cleaning and disinfecting efficacy of laser- induced irrigation. With its precise delivery of shock waves into cleaning fluids and the resulting enhanced fluid dynamics, SWEEPS promises to represent an entirely new way of thinking about root canal therapy.

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