Clinical Oral Investigations

, Volume 17, Issue 4, pp 1113–1125 | Cite as

Photodynamic therapy in dentistry: a literature review

  • Hare Gursoy
  • Ceyda Ozcakir-Tomruk
  • Jale Tanalp
  • Selçuk Yılmaz



The purpose of this review was to summarize recent developments regarding photodynamic therapy (PDT) in the field of dentistry.

Materials and methods

A review of pertinent literature was carried out in PubMED to determine the current position of PDT applications in dentistry. One hundred thirteen relevant articles were retrieved from PubMED by inserting the keywords “photodynamic therapy”, “dentistry”, “periodontology”, “oral surgery”, and “endodontics”. It is anticipated that this overview will create a specific picture in the practitioner’s mind regarding the current status and use of PDT.


In spite of different results and suggestions brought about by different researchers, PDT can be considered as a promising and less invasive technique in dentistry.


PDT seems to be an effective tool in the treatment of localized and superficial infections. Within the limitations of the present review, it can be concluded that although PDT cannot replace antimicrobial therapy at its current stage, it may be used as an adjunctive tool for facilitating the treatment of oral infections.

Clinical relevance

Oral infections (such as mucosal and endodontic infections, periodontal diseases, caries, and peri-implantitis) are among the specific targets where PDT can be applied. Further long-term clinical studies are necessary in establishing a more specific place of the technique in the field of dentistry.


Photodynamic therapy Antimicrobial Dentistry 


Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hare Gursoy
    • 1
  • Ceyda Ozcakir-Tomruk
    • 2
  • Jale Tanalp
    • 3
  • Selçuk Yılmaz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Periodontology, Faculty of DentistryYeditepe UniversityGoztepeTurkey
  2. 2.Department of Oral Surgery, Faculty of DentistryYeditepe UniversityGoztepeTurkey
  3. 3.Department of Endodontics, Faculty of DentistryYeditepe UniversityGoztepeTurkey

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