The application of antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) in dentistry: A critical review

E. T. Carrera, H. B. Dias, S. C.T. Corbi, R. A.C. Marcantonio, A. C.A. Bernardi, V. S. Bagnato, M. R. Hamblin, A. N.S. Rastelli

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

138 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years there have been an increasing number of in vitro and in vivo studies that show positive results regarding antimicrobial photodynamic therapy (aPDT) used in dentistry. These include applications in periodontics, endodontics, and mucosal infections caused by bacteria present as biofilms. Antimicrobial photodynamic therapy is a therapy based on the combination of a non-toxic photosensitizer (PS) and appropriate wavelength visible light, which in the presence of oxygen is activated to produce reactive oxygen species (ROS). ROS induce a series of photochemical and biological events that cause irreversible damage leading to the death of microorganisms. Many light-absorbing dyes have been mentioned as potential PS for aPDT and different wavelengths have been tested. However, there is no consensus on a standard protocol yet. Thus, the goal of this review was to summarize the results of research on aPDT in dentistry using the PubMed database focusing on recent studies of the effectiveness aPDT in decreasing microorganisms and microbial biofilms, and also to describe aPDT effects, mechanisms of action and applications.

Original languageEnglish
Article number123001
JournalLaser Physics
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • bacteria
  • biofilms
  • photochemotherapy
  • photosensitizing agents

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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