Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Steven Lindauer


Recently, soft tissue lasers have been introduced into orthodontic practice to perform procedures that were traditionally referred to other dental professionals. The purpose of this study was to compare the attitudes of orthodontists, periodontists, and general dentists regarding the use of soft tissue lasers by orthodontists. The ultimate goal was to facilitate communication among dental professionals and improve the care of orthodontic patients requiring management of soft tissues. A survey was developed to evaluate and compare the current opinions of orthodontists (n=330), periodontists (n=171), and general dentists (n=77) regarding orthodontists’ use of soft tissue lasers. When compared to orthodontists and general dentists, a lower percentage of periodontists indicated that soft tissue laser use by orthodontists was appropriate (P = 0.001). Also, for each of the 8 specific soft tissue laser procedures investigated, periodontists reported a significantly lower level (P = 0.001) of appropriateness than did orthodontists and general dentists.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

July 2010