The present study was carried out to examine the removal of melanin pigmentation from human gingival surfaces using the Er:YAG laser. The results were compared to those obtained using the Nd:YAG laser. Two laser devices, an Er:YAG laser (SMART2940D) and an Nd:YAG laser (A10) (developed by DEKA, Florence, Italy) were used for laser treatment. The parameters of the Er:YAG laser were 5 Hz and 100 mJ, applied for 230 μs using a contact tip under water mist and a noncontact tip without water mist. The Nd:YAG laser was applied at 10 Hz and 100 mJ for 300 μs with Chinese black ink. In all cases, melanin pigmentation could be removed without local anesthesia. Melanin pigmentation removed by Er:YAG laser with or without water mist induced slight bleeding. Neither postoperative pain nor swelling were observed. Compared with the Nd:YAG laser, the Er:YAG laser showed no tendency for melanin pigmentation recurrence after 36 months. In addition, the color of the gingival surface lased by the Er:YAG laser was changed to pink. Comparison with the Nd:YAG laser revealed that the Er:YAG laser is useful in the removal of human gingival melanin pigmentation.
Keywords: Er:YAG laser, Nd:YAG laser therapy, human gingiva, melanin pigmentation