Efficacy of Er:YAG laser on periodontitis as an adjunctive non-surgical treatment: A split-mouth randomized controlled study

Xuan Zhou, Mei Lin, Dongxue Zhang, Yiqing Song, Zuomin Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: To evaluate the adjunctive efficacy of Er:YAG laser use with mechanical scaling and root planing (SRP) for non-surgical treatment of periodontitis. Materials and Methods: In a randomized, single-blinded, controlled trial, 27 patients were recruited. Using a split-mouth design, two quadrants were randomly allocated into either a test group or a control group. The test quadrants received Er:YAG laser (ERL; 100 mJ/pulse; 15 Hz to hard tissue and 50 mJ/pulse; 30 Hz to soft tissue) plus SRP treatment, while the control quadrants received SRP only. We evaluated periodontal indexes, including probing depth (PD), clinical attachment level (CAL), bleeding index (BI), and plaque index (PLI) at baseline, 3 months, and 6 months. Results: The PD and CAL means in the ERL + SRP group were significantly lower than those in the SRP group at 3-month follow-up (PD: 2.98 ± 0.38 mm vs. 3.09 ± 0.35 mm; CAL: 4.51 ± 0.69 mm vs. 4.72 ± 0.67 mm) and 6-month follow-up (PD: 2.91 ± 0.31 mm vs. 3.02 ± 0.30 mm; CAL: 4.52 ± 0.65 mm vs. 4.72 ± 0.66 mm; p = 0.03 for both PD and CAL). There were no significant differences in BI and PLI between two groups. Conclusions: The Er:YAG laser treatment combined with conventional SRP significantly improved PD and CAL compared to SRP therapy alone; however, these differences were very small and, as a result, the adjunctive effect of Er:YAG laser is likely to be minimal clinically important.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)539-547
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Clinical Periodontology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2019



  • Er:YAG laser
  • non-surgical therapy
  • periodontitis
  • randomized controlled trial
  • scaling and root planing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Periodontics

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