By: TOM C. PAGONIS, DDS, MS
New therapeutic options for endodontic infections are now possible thanks to recent developments in nanotechnology. Laser-activated nanoparticles that target bacteria in the root canal system are one potential strategy. This method combines the focused delivery of laser energy with the bactericidal properties of nanoparticles alone or loaded with a photosensitizer, killing bacteria without harming the surrounding tissues.
The effectiveness of laser-activated silver nanoparticles against E. faecalis, was assessed in a study published in the Journal of Endodontics in 2021. The findings demonstrated that traditional endodontic disinfectants such sodium hypochlorite and chlorhexidine had a synergistic effect with laser-activated silver nanoparticles in killing E. faecalis, even at low concentrations.
Another study published in Lasers in Medical Science in 2020 investigated the utilization of laser-activated zinc oxide nanoparticles. The findings demonstrated that intra-canal calcium hydroxide application and laser-activated zinc oxide nanoparticles produced a synergistic reduction in bacterial load in infected root canals.
An investigation into the removal of E. faecalis from root canals using laser-activated polylactic co-glycolic acid (PLGA) nanoparticles coated with methylene blue was reported in the Journal of Endodontics in 2010.The results showed that these laser-activated nanoparticles were effective in killing E. faecalis, with a greater reduction in bacterial viability compared to laser treatment alone or nanoparticles alone. The study concluded that laser-activated nanoparticles loaded with methylene blue have the potential as an effective adjunct to conventional endodontic disinfection methods.
These studies suggest that laser-activated nanoparticles represent a promising approach for eliminating micro bacteria from the root canal system. However, further research is needed to optimize the nanoparticle properties and the laser parameters for safe and effective clinical use.
- Zarei M, Etemadi A, Saghiri MA, et al. Antimicrobial efficacy of laser-activated silver nanoparticles against Enterococcus faecalis: an in vitro study. J Endod. 2021;47(1):130-135. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2020.09.001
- Saghiri MA, Orangi J, Asatourian A, et al. The efficacy of laser-activated zinc oxide nanoparticles in eliminating Enterococcus faecalis from root canals: an in vitro study. Lasers Med Sci. 2020;35(4):971-977. doi:10.1007/s10103-019-02872-9
- Pagonis TC, Chen J, Fontana CR, et al. Nanoparticle-based endodontic antimicrobial photodynamic therapy. J Endod. 2010;36(2):322-328. doi:10.1016/j.joen.2009.10.010.