The effect of two phototherapy protocols on pain control in orthodontic procedure—a preliminary clinical study


Phototherapy with low-level coherent light (laser) has been reported as an analgesic and anti-inflammatory as well as having a positive effect in tissue repair in orthodontics. However, there are few clinical studies using low-level LED therapy (non-coherent light). The aim of the present study was to analyze the pain symptoms after orthodontic tooth movement associated with and not associated with coherent and non-coherent phototherapy. Fifty-five volunteers (mean age = 24.1 ± 8.1 years) were randomly divided into four groups: G1 (control), G2 (placebo), G3 (protocol 1: laser, InGaAlP, 660 nm, 4 J/cm2, 0.03 W, 25 s), G4 (protocol 2: LED, GaAlAs, 640 nm with 40 nm full-bandwidth at half-maximum, 4 J/cm2, 0.10 W, 70 s). Separators were used to induce orthodontic pain and the volunteers pain levels were scored with the visual analog scale (VAS) after the separator placement, after the therapy (placebo, laser, or LED), and after 2, 24, 48, 72, 96, and 120 h. The laser group did not have statistically significant results in the reduction of pain level compared to the LED group. The LED group had a significant reduction in pain levels between 2 and 120 h compared to the control and the laser groups. The LED therapy showed a significant reduction in pain sensitivity (an average of 56%), after the orthodontic tooth movement when compared to the control group.

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Correspondence to Maria Ângela Lacerda Rangel Esper.

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Esper, M.Â.L.R., Nicolau, R.A. & Arisawa, E.Â.L.S. The effect of two phototherapy protocols on pain control in orthodontic procedure—a preliminary clinical study. Lasers Med Sci 26, 657–663 (2011).

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  • Orthodontics
  • Pain
  • Laser
  • LED