Am J Dent. 2023 Feb;36(1):21-24.
PURPOSE: To evaluate in a retrospective practice-based clinical study, the effects of additional laser therapy on side effects following the removal of all four impacted third molars. The secondary objective was, based on those results, to rationalize a protocol for low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in terms of irradiation settings.
METHODS: 96 subjects requiring simultaneous surgical removal of the four third molars were treated from 2017 to 2019. For each subject, one side was randomly assigned to laser treatment, the other receiving the placebo. LLLT was performed by applying an infrared diode laser of 810 nm. In the LLLT irradiated side of the mouth, three groups were randomly assigned to a specific protocol of irradiation. Controllable settings include power, energy density and also scanning technique. The main outcome was pain, registered on a visual analog scale (VAS) performed by the patients.
RESULTS: There was a statistically significant difference for one of the tested protocols. Self-reported annoyance and pain scores were lower for the side submitted to a 30-second laser radiation at a power of 0.3 W with the slow scanning technique (P< 0.05).
CLINICAL SIGNIFICANCE: The present treatment approach, using a one-time low-level laser therapy intra-oral application, showed a beneficial effect of LLLT reducing pain after third molar surgery, which should be confirmed through further study.