A study was conducted on the effects of CO2 laser irradiation on the dental pulp. Ten adult mongrel dogs were used. Either focused laser beam (spot size: d=0.15 mm) or defocused laser beam (spot size: d=3.0 mm) was applied to the exposed pulp. The ranges of output power were 3, 10, 30, and 60 W; the ranges of the irradiation periods were 0.1, 0,5, and 1.0 s. Histopathological examination of the pulp was performed immediately after the irradiation. Among the conditions examined, an output of 60 W and an irradiation period of 0.5 s produced the most favorable border between normal and necrotic tissues. No detectable damage was observed in the radicular portions of pulps that were irradiated.
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