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Comparison of the effect of photobiomodulation therapy and Ibuprofen on postoperative pain after endodontic treatment: randomized, controlled, clinical study


The aim of the study was to compare the effect of Ibuprofen and the application of photobiomodulation therapy protocol on the reduction of postoperative pain in endodontically treated teeth using a randomized clinical trial design. Seventy patients, diagnosed with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, were selected. Treatment was performed by a single operator; a reciprocal system was used to prepare the canals; they were obturated using the Tagger’s hybrid technique and coronally sealed with glass-ionomer cement. After treatment, patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. In the active control group, two Ibuprofen 600 mg tablets were administered within a 12-h interval. In the photobiomodulation therapy group, the irradiation was applied after treatment. The evaluation of postoperative pain was performed by another researcher blinded to the groups at 6, 12, 24, and 72 h intervals after treatment. To measure the outcome, two pain scales were used: numerical rate scale (NRS) and verbal rate scale (VRS). Data were analyzed using the chi-square, Mann-Whitney, and Wilcoxon paired tests. Outcome was superior with photobiomodulation therapy at 6 h (p < 0.001), 12 h (p = 0.005), and 24 h (p < 0.001) intervals compared with Ibuprofen. The results for the 72 h (p = 0.317) interval were similar, both in the VRS and NRS scales. It may be concluded that the use of photobiomodulation therapy was effective in reducing pain within the first 24 h when compared with the administration of Ibuprofen 600 mg.

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The authors thank the public funding agencies: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel of the Ministry of Education (CAPES) and Foundation for Research Support of the State of Amazonas (FAPEAM) for their support to the Master course in Dentistry of Federal University of Amazonas.

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Correspondence to Emílio Carlos Sponchiado Júnior.

Ethics declarations

The study was approved by the Research Ethics Committee of the Federal University of Amazonas (CEP/UFAM) for research involving human beings (CAAE No 78332217.9.0000.5020). It is registered on the platform of the Brazilian Registry of Clinical Trials (REBEC) (U1111-1210-5191). The outline of this clinical trial followed the guidelines of the Consolidated Standards of Reporting Trials (CONSORT).

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures were in accordance with the ethical standards of the Research Ethics Committee involving humans of the Federal University of Amazonas and the 1964 Declaration of Helsinki and its subsequent amendments or comparable ethical standards.

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Consent was obtained from all individuals who participated in this clinical trial.

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Nunes, E.C., Herkrath, F.J., Suzuki, E.H. et al. Comparison of the effect of photobiomodulation therapy and Ibuprofen on postoperative pain after endodontic treatment: randomized, controlled, clinical study. Lasers Med Sci 35, 971–978 (2020).

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  • Clinical trial
  • Postoperative pain
  • Endodontics
  • Photobiomodulation therapy
  • Ibuprofen