How effective is the use of diode laser in disinfecting deep periodontal pockets?
This question was submitted to us by a general dentist: Is there clinical evidence indicating the efficacy of deep periodontal pocket disinfection with a soft tissue diode laser? What protocols are proven and recommended in terms of frequency of treatment?
Dr. Gordon Schwartz from GumDocs provided this initial quick response
There is a growing interest in using Lasers to treat periodontal tissues.
Lasers have usually been used for incision during surgical procedures (like frenectomies and crown lengthenings) and for disinfection and regeneration of the periodontal tissues affected by disease. It is easy to asses the lasers ability to cut. However, it is very difficult to to measure the effect of any treatment on gum disease with a Randomized Control Trial (RCT), which is the best way to assess the effectiveness of any treatment. That is due to a variability of the disease, the patient, and the practitioner. The question of assessing lasers becomes more complicated when considering all permutations of energy levels, laser types, and laser protocols.
Currently, the American Academy of Periodontology does not endorse any laser, including Diode lasers, in terms of their efficiency compared to scaling and root planing in the treatment of periodontal diseases. There are no RCTs published in peer-reviewed journals that show the benefits of using any laser over scaling and root planing. There are proponents of the Diode laser who quote some research showing the use of Diode laser increased the destruction of bacteria. However, much more work needs to be done to determine optimum treatment protocols and laser settings.
Cobb CM. Lasers in periodontics: a review of the literature. J Periodontol. 2006;77(4):545-64.
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