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980nm fractional laser treatment of McCall festoon and Stillman’s cleft

Elena S. Sergeeva, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Luidmila A. Ermolaeva, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Denis Y. Fedotov, St. Petersburg State University, Russia
Yulia V. Semyashkina, ITMO University, Russia
Andrey V. Belikov, ITMO University, Russia


Stillman's cleft is a triangular-shaped gingival defect. This defect is most often observed on the buccal surface of the tooth [1]. The etiology and pathogenesis of Stillman's cleft remain unclear up to now.
The prolonged presence of Stillman's cleft may resulted in a number of complications. A serious complication is damage of the dentoepithelial attachment and a formation of deep periodontal pockets [2].
Stillman's cleft frequently may be accompanied with McCall festoon. McCall festoon has a thickening gum appearance.
Modern treatment methods do not guarantee a complete healing of these diseases. There is a need to search for new, more effective methods of treatment. Fractional laser treatment can be considered as one of such methods [3].
The study involved ten volunteers diagnosed with Stillman's cleft. 980nm diode laser was used for fractional laser treatment of oral mucosa. Laser radiation was delivered to the gum through quartz fiber with diameter 400 micrometers. Laser power was 7W, pulse duration was 120ms. Each fractional microdamage was created by single laser pulse application. The filling factor was about 100microbeam/cm2. Single fractional microdamages were evenly distributed over the gum surface. The number of laser treatments did not exceed four. The results were assessed by eleven independent experts. They determined the presence of Stillman's cleft and McCall festoon from photographs before and 4-6 months after fractional laser treatment.
Complete removal of Stillman's cleft was demonstrated in more than 80% of cases after 980nm fractional laser treatment on the oral mucosa. Where Stillman's cleft was accompanied by McCall festoon, total recovery has also been confirmed by experts in most cases.
The results demonstrated that 980nm fractional laser treatment can be used as effective method of therapy of Stillman's cleft and McCall festoon.

1. Stillman PR. Early clinical evidences of diseases in the gingival and pericementum. J Dent Res. 1921; 3:25-31.
2. Cassini MA, Cerroni L, Ferlosio A, Orlandi A, Pilloni A. The gingival Stillman’s clefts: histopathology and cellular characteristics. Ann Stomatol (Roma). 2015;6(3-4):100–103.
3. Belikov AV, Ermolaeva LA, Korzhevsky DE, et al. Histological examination of the oral mucosa regeneration after fractional diode laser treatment with a wavelength of 980 nm. Proc. SPIE 10685. 2018;10685:1068526-1-12.


Elena Sergeeva
St. Petersburg State University, Russia


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