Purpose: Despite the large number of publications, there is still controversy among clinicians regarding the application of dental lasers for the treatment of chronic periodontitis. This study was therefore conducted to compare clinical and microbial results of nonsurgical periodontal therapy alone or associated with Nd:YAG laser in periodontal pocket healing. Materials and Methods: Forty-eight periodontal pockets in 6 patients suffering from generalized chronic periodontitis were selected. They were treated with nonsurgical periodontal therapy (supra- and subgingival ultrasonic scaling, hand scaling and root planing). The pockets were randomly divided into two groups. For 24 pockets, Nd:YAG laser (Fidelis plus, Fotona, 300 μm fiber, 2 W, 20 Hz, 1 min, 2 times for each site and about 8x105 J per cm2) was applied; in the control group, no laser was applied. Clinical parameters evaluated during this study were: periodontal pocket depth, modified gingival index, bleeding on probing, clinical attachment level, and gingival recession. Microbiological samples from pockets were also examined for Porphyromonas gingivalis and Prevotella intermedia. All patients were followed up for a period of two months. Results: There was significant improvement in all parameters after treatment in both groups, but after one or two months, the laser-treated group showed statistically better results than the control group. Microbial evaluation showed that the laser-treated group had a greater reduction of Prevotella intermedia. Conclusion: This clinical trial indicated that Nd:YAG laser application together with conventional methods provide better clinical and microbial results than those obtained by conventional method alone.
Keywords: nonsurgical periodontal therapy, Nd:YAG laser, clinical parameters, microbial evaluation