Er:YAG laser application in caries removal and cavity preparation in children: a meta-analysis.


Department of Pediatric Dentistry Stomatological Hospital, Hebei Medical University, Shijiazhuang, China. [Email]


The aim of this meta-analysis was to systematically evaluate the applications of Er:YAG lasers for the removal of caries and cavity preparation in children. The meta-analysis was performed according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) and was conducted with data extracted from seven relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) published from 1997 to July 2017. The data heterogeneity of each study was assessed by a Q test. We used the heterogeneity results to calculate the standard mean difference (SMD) or relative risk (RR) and 95% confidence interval (95%CI) using STATA version 10.0. The publication bias was evaluated using Begger's test. There were seven randomized controlled trials included in this study. The analysis results indicate that compared to the conventional mechanical method, more time was needed for Er:YAG laser treatment (SMD 1.945, 95%CI 0.942 to 2.948). However, the pain reported by patients was reduced with Er:YAG laser treatment (SMD - 1.013, 95%CI - 1.892 to - 0.196). There were no significant differences between the groups in the complete retention rate (RR 1.021, 95%CI 0.963 to 1.114), the marginal discoloration (RR 1.638, 95% CI 0.240 to 11.986) and the marginal adaptation (RR 1.480, 95%CI 0.257 to 8.515). In conclusion, our data indicate that the time required for Er:YAG laser treatment was longer than that for the conventional mechanical method, but there was less pain associated with the Er:YAG laser treatment. There were no significant differences in the complete retention rate, marginal discoloration, and marginal adaptation between the two groups.


Children,Conventional mechanical method,Dental caries,Er:YAG laser,Meta-analysis,