Gingival melanin hyperpigmentation is an esthetic concern for many individuals. In this study, we compared the standard surgical removal method with two different Er,Cr:YSGG laser settings in order to find the best treatment method. In 33 dental arches, the following three treatment groups were comparatively evaluated: (1) surgical stripping, (2) removal with laser setting 1 (4.5 W, 50 Hz, 100% water, 80% air, 60 μs, 800 μm Tip; MZ8), and (3) laser setting 2 (2.5 W, 50 Hz, 20% water, 40% air, 700 μs, 800 μm Tip; MZ8). We comparatively evaluated pain, patient satisfaction and wound healing, treatment time, and the amount of bleeding. Re-pigmentation was evaluated after 1 and 12 months by Hedin and Dummet pigmentation scores. Laser setting 1 had the best results regarding pain and patient satisfaction, although not statistically significant (P > 0.05). Wound healing results were better using lasers compared to surgical stripping (P < 0.05). Laser setting 1 was a faster procedure with mild amounts of bleeding. The least amount of bleeding was seen with laser setting 2. After 1 month, only two cases of the laser setting 2-treated areas showed an isolated pigmented area in the papilla; at 12 months, the mean Hedin indexes were still less than 2 and mean Dummett index less than 1 in all treatment techniques, with the lowest scores seen in the laser setting 1 sites. Based on our results, Er,Cr:YSGG laser can be more convenient for gingival depigmentation compared to surgical blade. Although not statistically significant, laser setting 1 with shorter pulse duration and higher water spray showed better overall results. However, laser setting 2, with longer pulse duration and less water spray, resulted in better coagulative effects and can be used to control bleeding wherever necessary in clinical practice.
Keywords: Gingival depigmentation; Laser; Surgical blade; Wound healing.