Photon Induced Photo-acoustic Streaming or PIPS for short is the newest way to do root canals with a laser. Most dentist have never heard of it before because it is so new. We have been doing it in our office since September, 2010 with great success. It uses our erbium yttrium aluminum garnet laser. This laser is very special because it can cut both hard (tooth/bone) and soft tissue. It works by having its wavelength (laser light) absorbed in both water and hydroxyapatite crystals (tooth structure). Putting the laser inside the tooth and then running a water solution inside the root canal allows the laser to explode the water like a tiny bomb, 20 times a second. This sends a sonic shock wave down inside the root canal system which vibrates out all the debris and bacteria. I liken it to dropping a depth charge over the side of a boat to blow up a submarine. You don’t have to get close to rupture the hull of the sub from the concussive force of the blast. Then the tooth is filled with a gutta percha and sealed like other conventional root canal treatments. The advantage of this minimally invasive technique is that it complete cleans out the root canal system before it is sealed off. Every other root canal technique cannot do this. Instead, they simply remove as much as they can and then entomb the rest of the debris and bacteria with the sealer and hope for the best. Surprisingly, conventional root canal work really well, just imaging how well they will work when they are cleaned out completely!
This is just another example of how the doctors at Cape Dental Care are providing advanced dentistry to our patient.