The effect of the thermal diode laser (wavelength 808–980 nm) in non-surgical periodontal therapy: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Focused question:

What is the adjunctive effect of a diode laser (DL) following non-surgical periodontal debridement (SRP) during the initial phase of periodontal therapy on the clinical parameters of periodontal inflammation.

Material and Methods:

The MEDLINE-PubMed, Cochrane-Central Register of Controlled Trials and EMBASE databases were searched up to September 2013. Probing pocket depth (PPD) and clinical attachment loss (CAL) were selected as outcome variables. Also plaque scores (PS), bleeding scores (BS) and the Gingival Index (GI) were considered outcome measures. Data were extracted and a meta-analysis (MA) was performed where appropriate.


Independent screening of 416 unique papers resulted in nine eligible publications. The MA evaluating PPD, CAL and PS showed no significant effect. The only significance favouring adjunctive use of the DL was observed for the outcome parameters GI and BS.


The collective evidence regarding adjunctive use of the DL with SRP indicates that the combined treatment provides an effect comparable to that of SRP alone. That is for PPD and CAL. The body of evidence considering the adjunctive use of the DL is judged to be “moderate” for changes in PPD and CAL. With respect to BS, the results showed a small but significant effect favouring the DL, however, the clinical relevance of this difference remains a question. This systematic review questions the adjunctive use of DL with traditional mechanical modalities of periodontal therapy in patients with periodontitis.

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