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Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews

Lasers for caries removal in deciduous and permanent teeth

Overview of attention for article published in Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2016
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  • In the top 5% of all research outputs scored by Altmetric
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age (96th percentile)
  • High Attention Score compared to outputs of the same age and source (90th percentile)

Mentioned by

3 blogs
69 tweeters
2 Facebook pages
5 Wikipedia pages
1 Google+ user


31 Dimensions

Readers on

360 Mendeley
Lasers for caries removal in deciduous and permanent teeth
Published in
Cochrane database of systematic reviews, September 2016
DOI 10.1002/14651858.cd010229.pub2
Pubmed ID

Alessandro Montedori, Iosief Abraha, Massimiliano Orso, Potito Giuseppe D'Errico, Stefano Pagano, Guido Lombardo


Despite considerable improvements in oral health, dental caries continue to be a public health issue. The most frequently used, and universally accepted technique, to remove caries is through mechanical ablation of decayed tissues by means of rotating drills (diamond or tungsten carbide, or both). In the past few decades, the introduction of adhesive filling materials (resin composites) has affected cavity filling procedures by reducing its retention needs, with advantages for dental tissue conservation. Consequently, new minimally invasive strategies were introduced into dental practice, such as the use of lasers to perform highly controlled tissue ablation. Laser use has also raised expectations of limiting pain and discomfort compared to using drills, as well as overcoming drill phobia. The main objective of the review was to compare the effects of laser-based methods to conventional mechanical methods for removing dental caries in deciduous and permanent teeth. We searched the following electronic databases: Cochrane Oral Health's Trials Register (searched 22 June 2016), Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials (CENTRAL; 2016, Issue 5) in the Cochrane Library (searched 22 June 2016), MEDLINE Ovid (1946 to 22 June 2016), Embase Ovid (1980 to 22 June 2016), ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (1980 to 22 June 2016), Zetoc (limited to conference proceedings) (1993 to 22 June 2016), and ISI Web of Knowledge (limited to conference proceedings) (1990 to 22 June 2016). We checked the reference lists of relevant articles to identify additional studies. We searched the US National Institutes of Health Ongoing Trials Register ClinicalTrials.gov and the World Health Organization International Clinical Trials Registry Platform for ongoing trials. We included randomised controlled trials, split-mouth trials and cluster-randomised trials (irrespective of their language) comparing laser therapy to drill ablation of caries. We included participants of any age (children, adolescents and adults). Two review authors independently screened titles and abstracts of citations identified by the review search strategy. Two review authors independently evaluated the full text of relevant primary studies, assessed risk of bias and extracted data. We used standard methodological procedures expected by Cochrane. We included nine randomised trials, published between 1998 and 2014, involving 662 participants. The population consisted of both children and adolescents in four trials, only adults in four trials, and both children/adolescents and adults in one trial. Four studies examined only permanent teeth, and five studies evaluated both deciduous and permanent teeth. Six trials used Er:YAG (erbium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) lasers, two trials employed Er,Cr:YSGG (erbium, chromium: yttrium-scandium-gallium-garnet) lasers, and one trial used Nd:YAG (neodymium-doped yttrium aluminium garnet) laser.Overall, the trials had small sample sizes, and the majority were at unclear or high risk of bias. The primary outcomes were evaluated in a limited number of trials (removal of caries (four trials (but only two reported quantitative data)); episodes of pain (five studies)). There was insufficient evidence to suggest that either lasers or drill were better at caries removal (risk ratio (RR) 1.00, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.99 to 1.01; 2 studies; 256 treated caries; P = 0.75; I(2) = 0%; low-quality evidence).The incidence of moderate or high pain was greater in the drill group compared to the laser group (RR 0.40, 95% CI 0.28 to 0.57; 2 studies; 143 participants; P < 0.001; I(2) = 50%). Similarly, the need for anaesthesia was significantly higher in the drill group than in the laser group (RR 0.25, 95% CI 0.10 to 0.65; 3 studies; 217 children/adolescents; P = 0.004; I(2) = 0%).In terms of marginal integrity of restoration, there was no evidence of a difference between laser and drill comparisons evaluated at 6 months (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.21 to 4.78; 3 studies), 1 year (RR 1.59, 95% CI 0.34 to 7.38; 2 studies), or 2 years (RR 1.00, 95% CI 0.21 to 4.74; 1 study).There was no evidence of a difference for durability of restoration between laser therapy or drill at 6 months' follow-up (RR 2.40, 95% CI 0.65 to 8.77; 4 studies), at 1 year (RR 1.40, 95% CI 0.29 to 6.78; 2 studies) or at 2 years' follow-up (RR 0.50, 95% CI 0.02 to 14.60; 1 study).Only two trials investigated the recurrence of caries, but no events occurred during 6 months' follow-up.There was insufficient evidence of a difference between laser or drill in terms of pulpal inflammation or necrosis at 1 week (RR 1.51, 95% CI 0.26 to 8.75; 3 studies) and at 6 months (RR 0.99, 95% CI 0.10 to 9.41; 2 studies). Given the low quality of the body of evidence, we concluded that evidence was insufficient to support the use of laser as an alternative to traditional drill therapy for caries removal. We found some evidence in favour of laser therapy for pain control, need of anaesthesia and patient discomfort, but, again, the body of evidence was of low quality. Additional well-designed, randomised trials investigating the most relevant outcomes are needed.

Twitter Demographics

Twitter Demographics

The data shown below were collected from the profiles of 69 tweeters who shared this research output. Click here to find out more about how the information was compiled.
Mendeley readers

Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 360 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
South Africa 1 <1%
Unknown 359 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 64 18%
Student > Bachelor 47 13%
Student > Ph. D. Student 27 8%
Student > Postgraduate 22 6%
Researcher 21 6%
Other 71 20%
Unknown 108 30%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 158 44%
Nursing and Health Professions 22 6%
Psychology 17 5%
Unspecified 8 2%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 6 2%
Other 29 8%
Unknown 120 33%
Attention Score in Context

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 74. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 05 January 2023.
All research outputs
of 24,007,780 outputs
Outputs from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 12,825 outputs
Outputs of similar age
of 326,834 outputs
Outputs of similar age from Cochrane database of systematic reviews
of 277 outputs
Altmetric has tracked 24,007,780 research outputs across all sources so far. Compared to these this one has done particularly well and is in the 97th percentile: it's in the top 5% of all research outputs ever tracked by Altmetric.
So far Altmetric has tracked 12,825 research outputs from this source. They typically receive a lot more attention than average, with a mean Attention Score of 33.8. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 92% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 326,834 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 96% of its contemporaries.
We're also able to compare this research output to 277 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one. This one has done particularly well, scoring higher than 90% of its contemporaries.