Efficacy of lasers as an adjunct to chemo-mechanical disinfection of infected root canals: a systematic review

By Fransson H, Larsson K, Wolf E

Date: 01/2013
Journal: IEJ


To evaluate the clinical efficacy of lasers as an adjunct to chemo-mechanical disinfection


  • 3 databases searched: PubMed, CENTRAL, ISI Web of Knowledge. Hand-searching review articles.
  • 3 independent authors assessed quality of studies
  • Inclusion criteria: in vivo, sample > 5 teeth, laser mechanism of action against bacteria (Nd:YAG via thermal, Er:YAG via strong water absorption, Diode via photosensitizer), key words
  • 278 results, 10 full texts assessed, 5 studies included in systematic review.


  • 4/5 studies reported a positive effect when laser treatment was used as an adjunctive to conventional chemo-mechanical treatment
  • All 5 studies considered to be of low quality
  • Reasons for low quality: no power analysis, no blinding, only one RCT, insufficient description of disinfection procedures, not specifying whether NaOCl was buffered, use of more than one photosensitizer, only one assessed outcome with radiographs.

Clinical Significance:

Due to the low quality of the studies, no recommendations can be made for or against the use of adjunctive lasers.