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Laser therapy could help relieve pain after orthodontic treatment

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The study included 88 patients who received elastomeric separators on the first molars. To determine whether low-level laser therapy (LLLT) would have an effect on the participants’ perception of pain after separator placement, the patients were randomly assigned to a laser group, a light-emitting diode (LED) placebo group and a control group.

After irradiation of the molars for 30 seconds every 12 hours for one week, significant differences in pain perception among the three groups were reported. The researchers observed that pain scores in the laser group were significantly lower than in the control group up to 24 hours after placement. However, no such effect was found in the LED group. Thus, the scientists concluded that frequent LLLT may be an effective way to reduce orthodontic pain for the first day after separator placement.

In addition, the researchers observed that the perception of pain was not significantly different based on age or sex. However, the effect of laser irradiation was more pronounced in male subjects. According to the study, the effect can mainly be attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of the laser and its regenerative effect on neurons.

The findings are in line with those of previous studies that have demonstrated that LLLT may increase the blood supply and promote healing of dental tissue. The study, titled “Effect of frequent laser irradiation on orthodontic pain”, was published in the July issue of the Angle Orthodontist journal.

August 17, 2013

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