Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of periodontal pocket treatment by initial periodontal therapy alone or associated with Nd:YAP laser therapy. Materials and Methods: Twenty-two healthy patients (8 women and 14 men, aged between 32 and 55 years) suffering from generalized chronic periodontitis were selected, 10 of whom were treated with nonsurgical periodontal therapy and 12 with a combination of nonsurgical periodontal therapy and Nd:YAP laser using an optical fiber. Clinical parameters registered during this study were: bleeding on probing (BOP), plaque index (PI), periodontal pocket depth (PPD), gingival recession (GR), and clinical attachment level (CAL). The clinical protocol of nonsurgical periodontal therapy (NSPT) includes local anesthesia, supra- and subgingival ultrasonic scaling, hand scaling and root planing, pocket irrigation with 3% H 2 O 2 , air polishing of supragingival dental surfaces, and supragingival polishing with rotating instruments. All patients were followed up for a period of 90 to 180 days. Results: All patients treated with the combined NSPT/Nd:YAP laser therapy showed statistically significantly improved clinical parameters compared to those resulting when treated with NSPT alone. The average depth of periodontal pockets was statistically significantly reduced in the test group after 3 (3.0 ± 0.1) and 6 months (2.7 ± 0.1) in relation to the control group (4.0 ± 0.2 after 3 and 3.9 ± 0.2 after 6 months). However, the statistical evaluation of the data confirm a positive evolution over 6 months for both groups (3.0 ± 0.1 and 3.9 ± 0.2, respectively) (p < 0.0001). Conclusion: This prospective clinical study indicates that adjunct Nd:YAP laser treatment during the initial phase of nonsurgical periodontal therapy provides better clinical results than those obtained by nonsurgical periodontal therapy alone. However, other studies will be necessary to ascertain the role or roles of Nd:YAP laser in nonsurgical periodontal treatment.
Keywords: nonsurgical periodontal therapy (NSPT), pulsed Nd:YAP laser, biostimulation, subgingival irrigation, periodontal pocket depth (PPD)