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Efficacy of low-level laser therapy in the management of pain, facial swelling, and postoperative trismus after a lower third molar extraction. A preliminary study

Lasers in Medical Science

Marta López-Ramírez, Miguel Ángel Vílchez-Pérez, Jordi Gargallo-Albiol, Josep Arnabat-Domínguez, Cosme Gay-Escoda

5/1/2012 - Lasers in Medical Science May 2012, Volume 27, Issue 3, pp 559-566

Pain, swelling, and trismus are the most common complications after surgical removal of impacted lower third molars. The aim of this study was to evaluate the analgesic and anti-inflammatory effects of a low-level laser therapy (Laser Smile™, Biolase®, San Clemente, USA) applied to the wound appeared after the surgical removal of impacted lower third molars. A prospective, randomized, and double-blind study was undertaken in 20 healthy patients with two symmetrically impacted lower third molars. The application of a low-level laser was made randomly on one of the two sides after surgery. The experimental side received 5 J/cm2 of energy density, a wavelength of 810 nm, and an output power of 0.5 W. On the control side, a handpiece was applied intraorally, but the laser was not activated. Evaluations of postoperative pain, trismus, and swelling were made. The sample consisted of 11 women and nine men, and mean age was 23.35 years (18–37). The pain level in the first hours after surgery was lower in the experimental side than in the placebo side, although without statistically significant differences (p = 0.258). Swelling and trismus at the 2nd and 7th postoperative days were slightly higher in the control side, although not statistically significant differences were detected (p > 0.05). The application of a low-level laser with the parameters used in this study did not show beneficial affects in reducing pain, swelling, and trismus after removal of impacted lower third molars.

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