Introduction: The periodontal therapy is primarily targeted at removal of dental plaque and plaque retentive factors. Although the thorough removal of adherent plaque, calculus and infected root cementum is desirable, it is not always achieved by conventional modalities. To accomplish more efficient results several alternative devices have been used. Lasers are one of the most promising modalities for nonsurgical periodontal treatment as they can achieve excellent tissue ablation with strong bactericidal and detoxification effects.
Methods: Thirty freshly extracted premolars were selected and decoronated. The mesial surface of each root was divided vertically into four approximately equal parts. These were distributed into four group based on the root surface treatment. Part A (n = 30) was taken as control and no instrumentation was performed. Part B (n = 30) was irradiated by Erbium, Chromium doped Yttrium Scandium Gallium Garnet (Er,Cr:YSGG) laser. Part C (n = 30) was treated by piezoelectric ultrasonic scaler. Part D (n = 30) was treated by Gracey curette. The surface roughness was quantitatively analyzed by profilometer using roughness average (Ra) value, while presence of smear layer, cracks, craters and melting of surface were analyzed using scanning electron microscope (SEM). The means across the groups were statistically compared with control using Dunnett test.
Results: Among the test groups, Er,Cr:YSGG laser group showed maximum surface roughness (mean Ra value of 4.14 μm) as compared to ultrasonic scaler (1.727 μm) and curette group (1.22 μm). However, surface with smear layer were found to be maximum (50%) in curette treated samples and minimum (20%) in laser treated ones. Maximum cracks (83.34%) were produced by ultrasonic scaler, and minimum (43.33%) by curettes. Crater formation was maximum (50%) in laser treated samples and minimum (3.33%) in curette treated ones. 63.33% samples treated by laser demonstrated melting of root surface, followed by ultrasonic scaler and curettes.
Conclusion: Er,Cr:YSGG laser produced maximum microstructural changes on root surface that can influence the attachment of soft periodontal tissues as well as plaque and calculus deposition. In vivo studies are needed to validate these results and to evaluate their clinical effects.
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