Periodontopathogen levels following the use of an Er:YAG laser in the treatment of chronic periodontitis

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Inflammatory periodontal diseases are initiated by microbial biofilms. The reduction of the biofilm is important in the management of the disease. This study compares periodontopathogen levels following the treatment of chronic periodontitis using Er:YAG laser (ERL) debridement and mechanical scaling and root planing (SRP).


Using a split-mouth design, two quadrants were randomly allocated for treatment. Two hundred and fifty-two subgingival plaque samples were collected from 21 patients, before treatment (baseline) and at 6 and 12 weeks post-therapy. Multiplex qPCR was used to determine relative levels of Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg), Treponema denticola (Td), Tannerella forsythensis (Tf), and Aggregatibacter actinomycetemcomitans (Aa).


Tf and Pg were significantly reduced post-treatment for both ERL and SRP. ERL treatment resulted in a reduction of Td at 12 weeks. Following SRP treatment Aa was significantly reduced at 12 weeks. No statistically significant difference was seen when treatments were compared at 6 and 12 weeks.


A comparable reduction in the level of the four periodontal pathogens assayed was achieved with Er:YAG laser debridement and mechanical scaling and root planing.

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