Erbium laser shows promise for perio treatment

Er:YAG laser debridement (ERL) is a potential alternative to manual scaling and root planing (SRP) for the nonsurgical treatment of chronic periodontitis, according to a study in the current issue of Photomedicine and Laser Surgery.

Researchers from the department of periodontology at Nantes University Hospital in France randomly treated 19 nonsmoking patients with chronic periodontitis using ERL or SRP in a split-mouth design (PLS, May 3, 2012).

They recorded clinical attachment level (CAL), periodontal pocket depth (PPD), and bleeding on probing (BOP). Immediately after the procedure, patients used a visual analog scale to grade the degree of discomfort experienced during treatment.

Both groups showed significant reductions in their PPD, CAL, and BOP values two months after treatment, the researchers reported. However, comparison of the two techniques demonstrated the statistically significant superiority of Er:YAG only for the CAL scores (p < 0.05), they noted.

"Within the limits of this study, ERL may be posited as an alternative to mechanical treatment in the management of chronic periodontitis," the study authors wrote.

ERL could be used on patients who are sensitive to injectable anesthetics, they added, but future studies with larger samples are needed to determine the long-term clinical outcomes of this method.

Page 1 of 206
Next Page