Studies & Cases

The benefits of lasers in dentistry

Rana Al-Falaki; Private Practice

The current periodontal literature has been inconsistent in finding an added advantage to using lasers in non-surgical periodontal therapy. Some, on the other hand, have found it to be both an effective monotherapy and an advantageous adjunct to root surface debridement.

The aim of this study was to compare treatment outcomes following root surface instrumentation alone (NL group), or with adjunctive use of Erbium, Chromium: Yttrium Scandium Gallium Garnet (Er,Cr:YSGG) laser (L group).

Materials and method: Consecutive patients were selected for inclusion in the study, who had a diagnosis of generalised chronic periodontitis, and had been treated to the point of stability (no further active treatment other than supportive periodontal therapy –maintenance) with up to a minimum of one year follow up. Probing depths (PD) of all sites >4mm were analysed and full mouth bleeding scores recorded.

Further analysis was carried out on the treatment outcomes of only the molar teeth, and of deeper pockets > 7mm.

Results: 53 patients were included (25 NL,28 L). The mean PD at baseline for NL was 6.19mm (range 5-10mm), and for L 6.27mm (range 5-11mm). The mean PD after one year was 2.83mm (NL) 2.45mm (L), with the mean PD reductions being 3.35mm (NL) and 3.82mm (L) (p<0.002). The mean PD reduction for the molars in each group were 3.32mm (NL) compared to 3.86mm (L) (p< 0.007). The mean PD reduction for 7mm+ group were 4.75mm (NL) compared to 5.14mm (L) (p< 0.009).