Purpose: Since the introduction of laser to medical fields, carbon dioxide laser has been considered a substitute for the surgical scalpel in soft tissue surgical procedures. The purpose of this study was to compare the use of carbon dioxide laser vs surgical scalpel to remove epulis fissuratum. Materials and Methods: In this clinical trial, 12 patients were selected with acceptably symmetrical epulis fissuratum in the anterior parts of the jaws. Based on random selection, half of this hyperplastic tissue in each patient was treated with carbon dioxide laser, and the other half was resected with the surgical scalpel and sutured continuously. All procedures were timed to determine their duration. Wound healing was checked at days 7 and 14 postoperatively. At day 14, vestibular depth in each section was measured. Results: Better healing was observed with carbon dioxide laser than with the surgical scalpel at postoperative days 7 and 14; this was found in 11 cases at day 7, and 10 cases at day 14. However, none of the cases showed complete re-epithelialization during these 2 weeks. In all patients, the difference in vestibular depth of the two sections and the difference in procedure time on each side were statistically significant. Conclusion: Removal of epulis fissuratum with CO2 laser results in better wound healing and less decrease in the vestibular depth. In order to determine the clinical significance of the time savings provided by the laser procedure, more detailed studies are needed to reveal other advantages and disadvantages of this approach.
Keywords: inflammatory fibrous hyperplasia, epulis fissuratum, carbon dioxide laser, wound healing, vestibular depth