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J Clin Periodontol. 2012 Jun;39(6):537-45. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-051X.2012.01873.x. Epub 2012 Apr 8.

A comparison of Er:YAG laser and mechanical debridement for the non-surgical treatment of chronic periodontitis: a randomized, prospective clinical study.

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Sir John Walsh Research Institute, Faculty of Dentistry, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.



To compare a monotherapy of Er:YAG laser debridement (ERL), wavelength 2940 nm, with mechanical scaling and root planing (SRP) for the treatment of chronic periodontitis using clinical and patient-centred outcomes.


Twenty-eight participants had two randomly assigned quadrants treated with ERL and two with SRP. Full-mouth plaque index, probing depth, bleeding on probing, clinical attachment level and gingival recession were recorded at baseline and 6- and 12-weeks post therapy. A questionnaire was used to assess pain, discomfort and satisfaction during and after treatment.


Twenty-two participants completed treatment and had 6- and 12-week clinical re-evaluations. SRP provided greater mean pocket depth reduction at 6- and 12-weeks (p = 0.01 and p = 0.003 respectively), and a greater reduction in pockets ≥ 4 mm at 6 weeks only (p = 0.03) compared with ERL. SRP also resulted in a significant reduction in bleeding on probing (BOP) sites at 12 weeks compared with ERL and a statistically significant greater reduction in mean clinical attachment level (CAL) at 6- (p = 0.02) and 12-weeks (p = 0.03). Patients expressed greater satisfaction with SRP on the day of treatment but were equally satisfied subsequently.


SRP resulted in a statistically significant greater short-term improvement in clinical parameters and patient satisfaction compared with ERL.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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