Is Low-level Laser Therapy an effective method to alleviate pain induced by active orthodontic alignment arch-wire? A randomized clinical trial.

Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice

Available online 22 November 2018

Journal of Evidence Based Dental Practice

Abstract

Objective

To assess if low-level laser therapy (LLLT) alleviate pain after the placement of orthodontic alignment arch-wire and if there could be a specific indication for the usage of LLLT according to the amount of dental crowding.

Materials and Methods

Ninety subjects were included and randomly assigned to tested group (orthodontic treatment and LLLT), placebo group (orthodontic treatment and simulated LLLT) and control group (orthodontic treatment only). Inclusion criteria: age between 13 and 30 years, completely erupted mandibular teeth, lower crowding ≥ 3 mm. Exclusion criteria: spaces/diastema in the lower arch, ectopic teeth, treatment plan including extractions or the use of auxiliary devices, previous orthodontic treatment. Patients reported the pain experienced by using a numeric rating scale (NRS), raging from 0 to 10, at specific time intervals i.e., 2 hours, 6 hours, 24 hours and from day 2 to 7. Kruskal-Wallis H Test was used to assess differences 1) in the maximum pain and in the pain experienced at each time interval among the three groups and 2) in the maximum pain reported among subjects with different degree of crowding.

Results

The final sample consisted of 84 patients, 41 male and 43 female, with a mean age of 16,5 ± 2,8 years. The pain experienced at each time interval and the maximum pain score were significantly lower in the tested group, while no differences were found between control and placebo groups. Moreover, no differences were found in the pain experienced among subjects with mild, moderate and severe incisors crowding in all groups.

Conclusions

LLLT is effective in alleviating the intensity and duration of pain experienced by patients after the engagement of alignment arch-wire. However, there is no specific indication for the usage of LLLT according to the amount of crowding.
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