BACKGROUND: The purpose of this prospective study was to compare the changes in periodontal somatosensory function and microcirculation in patients with periodontitis following initial treatment with scaling and root planing (SRP) with or without adjuvant laser therapy.
METHODS: Twenty-four patients suffering from periodontitis were recruited and randomly allocated into a split-mouth design to either SRP combined laser therapy side (test side) or SRP only side (control side). All treatments were performed by the same investigator at a single visit. Laser Doppler Flowmetry (LDF) and Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) were performed at baseline (W0), 1 week (1W), 2 weeks (2W), and 4 weeks (4W) after treatment on both sides of the attached gingiva of the maxillary lateral incisor. Clinical examination including probing depth (PD) and bleeding on probing (BOP) was performed at W0, 2W, and 4W on both sides. Data were analyzed with two-way analysis of variance.
RESULTS: PD and BOP significantly improved after treatment (P <0.001). LDF values were significantly decreased on both sides at all follow-up time points (P <0.001), temperature was increased only on the test side (P = 0.017) whereas there was no significant change on the control side (P = 0.792). Significantly less sensitivity was observed for all QST parameters (P <0.030) except for warmth detection after treatment.
CONCLUSION: Adjunctive use of laser therapy did not provide any significant clinical advantage or additional effects on the recovery of periodontal somatosensory function or gingival microcirculation in the present study.