Background and objective: In a previous study, the possibility of removal of dog gingival melanin pigmentation with CO(2) laser therapy was reported. The present study was designed to investigate the effect of the CO(2) laser on human gingival pigmentation and evaluate the clinical outcome.
Study design/materials and methods: A CO(2) laser (output: 6-8 W, pulse duration: 0.2 seconds) was irradiated on the melanin pigmented gingival surface of 10 patients, aged 20-49 years. Follow-up clinical and histopathological evaluations were performed.
Results: The CO(2) laser was effective in removing melanin pigmentation in all patients. In the histopathological study, no pigmented-laden cells nor any inflammatory cell infiltration was observed following laser irradiation. No re-pigmentation was seen in any case in the first year. However, four of seven cases showed re-pigmentation at 24 months. The re-pigmentation was almost equal to the preoperative state.
Conclusions: The CO(2) laser has proved to be another effective, safe, and easily applicable therapy for the removal of gingival melanin pigmentation.
Copyright 1999 Wiley-Liss, Inc.