BACKGROUND: The aim of the present study was to observe in vivo the effects of two different power settings of an Er:YAG laser on pockets of periodontally involved root surfaces using a scanning electron microscope (SEM). METHODS: Thirty-two teeth with severe periodontal disease scheduled for extraction were divided into three groups: group A was irradiated with an energy of 140 mJ, 10 Hz; group B with 160 mJ 10 Hz; group C was used as controls. Morphological changes on the treated root surfaces were evaluated using SEM observations to assess laser-induced ultrastructural changes. RESULTS: All surfaces treated in both groups showed a homogeneous and smooth root surface morphology. The surface alterations were very similar with both energy values used. CONCLUSION: Er:YAG laser irradiation performed with two different power settings of root surfaces in vivo showed at the SEM observation a complete absence of debris and smooth root surfaces
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