Abstract: Aim To find the optimal techniques and parameters that enables Er:YAG laser to be used successfully for small intraoral soft tissue interventions, in respect to its cutting and coagulation abilities.
Case report In vitro pre-tests: 4 different Er:YAG laser units and one CO2 unit as the control were used for incision and coagulation on porcine lower jaws and optimal parameters were established for each type of intervention and each laser unit: energy, frequency, type, pulse duration and distance. Case series: 3 different types of intervention using Er:YAG units are presented: crown lengthening, gingivoplasty and maxillary labial frenectomy with parameters found in the in vitro pre-tests.
Results The results showed a great decrease of the EMG activity of masseter and anterior temporalis muscles. Moreover, the height and width of the chewing cycles in the frontal plane increased after therapy.
Conclusion Er:YAG is able to provide good cutting and coagulation effects on soft tissues. Specific parameters have to be defined for each laser unit in order to obtain the desired effect. Reduced or absent water spray, defocused light beam, local anaesthesia and the most effective use of long pulses are methods to obtain optimal coagulation and bleeding control.