Purpose: The purpose of this preliminary report was to verify the potential of the Nd:YAG laser as a retraction device used in combination with retraction cords. Materials and Methods: The use of the Nd:YAG laser as a retraction device was evaluated in a clinical trial on eight selected patients, with 54 teeth involved, in 1 year. All required endodontic treatment and some needed periodontal surgery before prosthetic treatment. All patients were followed up for one year. Plaque index, bleeding on probing, and gingival sulcus depth on probing were checked. Results: The soft tissue always showed optimum health after 10 days of the treatment. The main advantages are: use of only topical anesthetic, bleeding control, short healing time, operative and postoperative absence of pain. Conclusion: Nd:YAG lasers show great potential for prosthetic use, but other investigations on buccal gingival retraction will be necessary in order to study the level of permanent tissue recession using Nd:YAG laser without mechanical retraction.
Keywords: Nd:YAG laser, retraction device, fixed crowns, impressions, gingival margins