Application of High-power Lasers in Dentistry during COVID-19 Outbreak: An Equivocal Issue

Document Type : Mini Review


1 Oral and Dental Disease Research Center, School of Dentistry, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran

2 Student Research Committee, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Shiraz, Iran.

3 Student Research Committee, Faculty of Medicine, Hormozgan University of Medical Sciences, Bandar Abbas, Iran.


High-Power Lasers (HPLs) are capable of creating a plume containing tissue debris, vapor, and viruses (HPV, HIV, etc.) which is liberated into the surrounding environment and may have a potential role in infection transmission. The employment of these dental lasers is an equivocal concern during the new Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. Since many oral tissues are highly potential reservoirs of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), this study was conducted to scrutinize the possibility of dissemination of this virus through the plume in dental laser treatments during the COVID-19 pandemic. The current evidence shows while the employment of laser is an effective and comfortable tool for dental treatments, it holds some inherent hazards such as producing airborne contaminants. With HPV, HIV, and other viruses already detected in laser plume and considering the presence of ACE2 receptors in the oral cavity, there is a potential risk in laser treatments to produce infectious plume, which may possibly contain SARS-CoV-2. The SARS-CoV-2 virus can potentially be liberated in the plume during dental application of HPLs in suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19. While the amount of aerosol may be different from other routine dental instruments, this modality should be used with crucial care during the COVID-19 outbreak.
In this regard, safety precautions in laser application should be rigorously maintained during the COVID-19 outbreak.