There is no question that laser use for periodontal surgery has shown great promise for this care. Laser treatment of gum pockets to influence resolution of periodontal disease has brought on the idea that this treatment might be applied to other areas such as surgical removal of impacted teeth. The idea is to use the dental laser to “clean up” and “sterilize” the extraction socket after removal of the impacted teeth. (JADA 148 (12) December 2017; pages 881-902).

When I first saw the data for use of the laser for periodontal surgery I bought into the idea that this could work for other types of surgical sites. What I found is in agreement with the sited article. That is, the use of lasers in third molar sites does not improve healing outcomes. I have found the same thing with use of Chlorhexidine rinses – no effect on outcome. The one modality that seems to have had the greatest result as far as recently applied therapies go is the use of dilute Povidone iodine irrigation. Still the main treatment protocols for best results are atraumatic technique (gentile care), experienced practitioner (expeditious treatment), and appropriate home care (thorough after care/instructions and follow through).