Safer with Solea: Less Viable Pathogens vs. the High Speed Dental Drill

Convergent Dental examined several aspects of the Solea dental aerosols. Research was publishedOAJDS: Solea shows how a high speed conventional dental drill can splatter more quickly and with less speed than an OAJDS.

The Convergent Dental R&D Team went a step further and created an in-vitro evaluation of live bacterial content in the aerosols and splatter generated by cutting dental enamel with Solea and with the drill. It is not surprising that Solea generated significantly less aerosolized viable organisms than the drill.


Different medical specialties use solea lasers to remove/vaporize hard and soft tissue. The temperatures at which these tissues can be vaporized are sufficiently high to kill pathogens. However, droplets of water on the periphery of the target tissue area, created from the laser’s water-cooling mechanism, may absorb pathogens that are then dispersed into an aerosol, which has been reported previously. The water-cooling mechanism used by conventional tools like high speed dental drills is similar to Solea’s but they have significantly higher water pressure and flow. Dental drills also introduce mechanical energy through a cutting bur, which rotates at 400,000 RPM to extract tissue.


One pilot study was conducted to measure the live bacteria released from hard tissue after it had been removed using a Solea Laser and a high-speed dental drill. The study included 15 uncleaned extracted human molars containing natural bacteria content (biofilm).

Solea was used for 10 seconds of laser radiation on each side of each tooth. The recommended settings were: 30% cutting speed; mist flow of 9ml/min; and low air pressure (10psi).

For 10 seconds, a dental drilling unit (Adec PAC 1) was used in conjunction with a carbide drill bit (FG 330), in a Midwest Stylus 360S handheld at a nominal pressure of 40 psi. Water flow was 25 ml/min on each side of each tooth.

The bacterial activity of the samples was determined by collecting the aerosol/spray from 15 samples onto TSA plates. The plates were mounted 15 cm from the teeth at a vertical angle of ~45° above the samples and a horizontal angle of 90° relative to the cutting direction, to allow any aerosolized live bacteria to be seeded onto the dishes in the direction that a practitioner would commonly be seated. To allow for direct comparison, the dishes were left exposed for the duration laser irradiation and drilling. The plates were then incubated for 24 hours at 35° C.

The Colony Forming Unit, or CFU, is a measure that cultured viable bacteria was used to calculate the bacteria’s livelihood in the splatter/aerosol produced by Solea.


96% fewer viable bacteria were found in the Solea Laser’s splatter/aerosols than those generated by the high speed drill. This is not surprising, as the temperature achieved while cutting enamel or dentin with Solea reaches more than 100°C, killing any viable micro-organisms in the laser beam’s path.


The results demonstrate Solea’s ability to significantly reduce aerosolized viable pathogens relative to the drill, and therefore, reduce the likelihood of transmitting diseases from patient to practitioner and patient to patient.

This in vitro study was combined with the previous researchThree major advantages of Solea over the high-speed dental drill in post-COVID environments are: Solea reduces dental aerosols and splatter, and what is left behind travels farther and contains far fewer pathogens.

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Safer with Solea: Less Viable Pathogens vs. the High Speed Dental Drill

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