Since the development of lasers in 1960, the use of these instruments has become more popular in medicine and dentistry. All lasers consist of a laser medium, an optical cavity, and a source of energy to pump the laser medium. The laser medium can be in the form of: a gas, eg, carbon dioxide (CO2), argon, or helium-neon (He-Ne); a liquid (eg, a dye); a solid, eg, yttrium-aluminum-garnet bar doped with neodymium (Nd:YAG), holmium (Ho:YAG) or erbium (Er:YAG); or a semiconductor, eg, gallium-aluminum arsenide (Ga-Al-As). The laser beam can be transformed to radiant energy that can be focused to a very small spot size to yield the enormous power densities which are necessary for the cutting, vaporizing and coagulating effects of lasers. This paper presents a review of the literature for potential laser applications in periodontics.
Keywords: soft laser, hard laser, scaling, root planing, root surface treatment