Clinical Evaluation of Periodontal Surgical Treatment With an Er:YAG Laser: 5-Year Results

Gaspirc B, Skaleric U


The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare the long-term clinical outcomes of erbium-doped:yttrium, aluminum, and garnet (Er:YAG) laser-assisted periodontal flap surgery versus conventional treatment with the modified Widman flap procedure.
A total of 146 single-rooted periodontally involved teeth from 25 patients were included in this study. In each patient, left or right maxillary single-rooted teeth were assigned randomly to one of two groups: group A (Er:YAG laser) and group B (modified Widman flap surgery). Er:YAG laser was used to debride the bone pockets, scale the root surface, and trim the periodontal flap. Recession, probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), plaque index (PI), gingival index (GI), and bleeding on probing (BOP) scores were recorded at baseline and at 3, 6, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 months.
Both treatments resulted in decreases in PD, PI, GI, and BOP, increases in gingival recession, and gains in CAL. PD reduction in group A versus group B was statistically significant at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months (P < 0.05). Gains in CAL were significantly greater in group A versus group B at 6, 12, 24, and 36 months. BOP scores were significantly lower in group A versus group B at 3 and 6 months (P < 0.05). All other differences between treatment groups were not statistically significant.
Surgical treatment of single-rooted teeth with chronic periodontitis using the Er:YAG laser yields greater PD reduction and gains in CAL for up to 3 years compared to conventional Widman flap surgery. The short-term results obtained with both treatments can be maintained over 5 years.

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