A comparison of diode laser and Er:YAG lasers in the treatment of gingival melanin pigmentation

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This study compared the use of diode and Er:YAG lasers in treating gingival melanin pigmentation (GMP) in terms of gingival depigmentation, local anesthesia requirements, postoperative pain/discomfort, depigmentation effectiveness, and total treatment duration.

Study Design

Twenty patients (13 female, 7 male) referred with GMP were enrolled in the study. Patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. Group 1 was treated with a gallium aluminum arsenide diode laser with a continuous wavelength of 808 nm, and group 2 was treated with an Er:YAG laser with a continuous wavelength of 2,940 nm. Gingival depigmentation was performed by applying the laser at 1 W. Treatment was administered on a weekly basis until a normal pink gingival color was observable in clinical examination and photographs. In addition, patients were asked to evaluate the procedure by using a self-administered questionnaire.


Procedures were carried out without the need for any topical or local anesthetic, and no unpleasant events occurred during the actual procedure or the healing period. The total length of treatment was significantly shorter with the diode laser (group 1) than with the Er:YAG laser (group 2; P < .05). No melanin recurrence was detected during any follow-up session.


Diode and Er:YAG lasers administered at 1 W both result in satisfactory depigmentation of GMP.

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