Critical summary from the American Dental Association Center for Evidence-based Dentistry

iStock_000001604217XSmall dental laser

The ADA-EBD Center has just published another of its critical summaries of systematic reviews.  This one looks at a 2012 review by Sgolastra et al, which was looking at the efficacy of the Er:YAG laser when used as an alternative treatment to scaling and root planing (SRP) in the treatment of patients with chronic periodontitis?

The appraiser considered the reviews methodology to be robust, although the overall findings need to be tempered by the fact that only 5 studies with a total of 105 patients were included.  In addition 3 of the 5 studies were considered to be at high risk of bias.  Overall the available evidence did not support the superiority of the Er:YAG laser over mechanical SRP in the treatment of chronic periodontal disease.


ADA-EBD – Evidence suggests that the Er:YAG laser does not enhance the result of root planing in patients with periodontal disease

Sgolastra F, Petrucci A, Gatto R, Monaco A. Efficacy of Er:YAG laser in the treatment of chronic periodontitis: systematic review and meta-analysis. Lasers Med Sci. 2012 May;27(3):661-73. doi: 10.1007/s10103-011-0928-8. Epub 2011 May 7.  Review. PubMed PMID: 21553003.

Dental Elf 24th Oct 2011 – Some evidence to support antimicrobial photodynamic therapy in patients with chronic periodontitis


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Derek Richards

Derek Richards is a specialist in dental public health, Director of the Centre for Evidence-Based Dentistry and Specialist Advisor to the Scottish Dental Clinical Effectiveness Programme (SDCEP) Development Team. A former editor of the Evidence-Based Dentistry Journal and chief blogger for the Dental Elf website until December 2023. Derek has been involved with a wide range of evidence-based initiatives both nationally and internationally since 1994. Derek retired from the NHS in 2019 remaining as a part-time senior lecturer at Dundee Dental School until the end of 2023.

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