Perceptions of soft tissue laser use in orthodontics

Department of Orthodontics, School of Dentistry, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
The Angle Orthodontist (Impact Factor: 1.23). 01/2012; 82(1):75-83. DOI: 10.2319/030311-154.1
Source: PubMed


To compare attitudes of orthodontists, periodontists, and general dentists regarding the use of soft tissue lasers by orthodontists during the course of orthodontic treatment.
An analogous survey was developed to evaluate and compare the current opinions of a representative sample (n  =  538) of orthodontists (61.3%), periodontists (24.3%), and general dentists (14.3%) regarding orthodontists' use of soft tissue lasers.
The majority (84%) of orthodontists, periodontists, and general dentists regarded the use of a soft tissue laser by orthodontists as appropriate. When compared to orthodontists and general dentists, a lower percentage of periodontists indicated that soft tissue laser use by orthodontists was appropriate (P < .01). For each of the eight specific soft tissue laser procedures investigated, periodontists reported a significantly lower level of appropriateness than did orthodontists and general dentists (P < .01). Around 75% of the total sample believed that referral would not be affected by the use of soft tissue lasers by orthodontists.
Orthodontists, periodontists, and general dentists differed in their opinions of the perceived appropriateness of soft tissue laser use by orthodontists, with periodontists reporting a lower level of appropriateness. Clinicians need to communicate effectively to ensure that orthodontic patients in need of adjunctive soft tissue surgery are treated to the accepted standard of care.

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