Laser therapy has the potential to be an effective, minimally invasive procedure in periodontal therapy. The aim of the present review was to survey the relevant literature on the clinical application of lasers as a minimally invasive treatment for periodontitis and peri-implant disease. Currently, there are a large number of published clinical studies and case reports that evaluate the adjunctive use of diode, carbon dioxide, neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Nd:YAG), erbium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet (Er:YAG) and erbium, chromium-doped: yttrium, scandium, gallium, garnet (Er,Cr:YSGG) lasers or antimicrobial photodynamic therapy for nonsurgical and minimally invasive surgical treatment of periodontal pockets. These procedures are expected not only to control inflammation but also to provide biostimulation effects with photonic energy. Recent meta-analyses did not show statistically significant differences in pocket reduction and clinical attachment gain compared with mechanical debridement alone, although limited positive effects of adjunctive laser therapy were reported. At present, systematic literature approaches suggest that more evidence-based studies need to be performed to support the integration of various laser therapies into the treatment of periodontal and peri-implant diseases. The disparity between previous statistical analyses and individual successful clinical outcomes of laser applications might reveal the necessity of developing optimal laser-treatment modalities of different wavelengths and better-defined indications for each protocol.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.