Maybe no one ever imagined that the magic beam shown in the Star Wars movies could someday treat their gums! The history of the lasers has been very exciting as their nowadays application modalities. In 1960, Maiman introduced “light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation” (LASER) using Einstein’s theories about the stimulated emission (1). Since then, different lasers, such as diode, CO2, Nd: YAG, Er: YAG, and Er, Cr: YSGG have been developed and within a few years have been used in dentistry (2,3). Unfortunately despite this relatively long history, there is no consensus in the profession about the advantages or disadvantages of the lasers. This might be due to the variety that exists in the research design and personal experiences, and the low evidence Please based approach seen in the dental literature.
In this article we have tried to review the current knowledge and experiences on the lasers and their application in periodontics and implant dentistry. There are two different ways that a laser beam can be delivered: a flexible hollow waveguide, or tube that has an interior mirror finish, or glass fiber optic cable. The main effect of laser energy is photothermal.
The final response of the target tissue depends on the degree of temperature increase and the tissue water content. Optical properties of periodontium such as pigmentation, water content, mineral content, heat capacity and latent heats of transformation can also determine the clinical application alongside specific wavelength, heat conduction and dissipation, and the amount of tissue congestion.(4). There are various lasers available that can be used in periodontics. From a point of view they can be divided either to the soft tissue lasers or soft and hard tissue lasers.
Neodymium-doped:YittriumAluminium-Garnet (Nd:YAG), carbon dioxide (CO2) and semiconductor diode lasers can be categorized as the soft tissue group while erbium family lasers are capable of performance in both hard and soft tissues(4,5). Since the periodontium consists of both hard and soft tissues, the erbium group lasers seem more beneficial for periodontal applications. A summary of different laser wavelengths and their properties can be seen in table.
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- Indications and limitations of Er:YAG laser applications in dentistry