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Journal of Oral Laser Applications

Year 2002
Volume 2 , Issue 1

Pages: 7 - 14

Lasers in Periodontology—New Trends

Peter Rechmann/Thomas Hennig

The concept of periodotnal treatment has radically changed over the past decades from a very aggressive surgical approach of pocket elimination to less invasive treatment. Today the treatment objective is directed towards the removal of the periodontal disease-causing agents, microbial plaque, and calculus. The use of lasers in periodontal treatment may be the next step towards even more minimally invasive treatment. Ideally, the treatment objective is selective cleaning of the periodontal pocket, removing the etiological factors of the disease. The selective ablation of calculus with lasers requires preferential absorption by the material to be removed compared to the healthy tissues. The Nd:YAG laser cannot ablate calculus. Conventional CO2 lasers may thermally damage the pulp. Excimer and Er:YAG lasers can remove calculus, but they uncontrolledly ablate healthy tooth structure. The frequency-doubled Alexandrite laser allows selective ablation of calculus based on natural differences in absorption. Calculus and microbial plaque are removed quickly and easily while healthy cementum and other healthy tooth structures remain unchanged. The frequency-doubled Alexandrite laser seems to be a very promising tool for the future of periodontal therapy. Its use will fulfill the requirements for sound periodontal maintenance therapy.


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