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Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy on pain intensity after lower third molar extraction


Purpose This double-blind crossover study compared analgesic efficacy of pre-and postoperative administration of low-level laser therapy (LLLT), using a postsurgical dental pain model. Materials and Methods Patients requiring surgical extraction of lower third molar in 2 separate stages under local anesthesia were recruited. During first stage all subjects received LLLT 15 minutes before the extraction and had Placebo Laser (laser probe application with the laser switched off) treatment immediately after completion of the suture. The second stage was carried out after 2 months of washout, patients were crossed over to receive the opposite treatment on the contralateral third molar; thus each patient received both treatments. Visual analog scale (VAS) of oral pain and supplemental analgesic usage, were assessed at 4,12, 24, 48, 72 and 168 hours after surgery. Results Fifty-six patients were recruited, but only 41 (23 males and 18 females) completed the study. Mean age was 22,51 with a standard deviation (SD) of 3,06 years. The use of supplemental doses of local anesthetics was significantly less in the second stage (P = 0,021). The VAS was significantly lower in the first stage at 4 h and 12 h postoperative hours, then VAS was similar until 168 hours. Similar the use of supplemental analgesic drugs was significantly less in the first stage (p < 0.05). Conclusions Postoperative oral LLLT appears to offer better analgesic efficacy than preoperative administration after third molar surgery under local anesthesia. In addition, LLLT before lower third molar surgery offers better analgesic efficacy during tooth extraction.