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Cranio. 2008 Oct;26(4):274-81.

Low intensity laser therapy in temporomandibular disorder: a phase II double-blind study.

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Department of Restorative Dentistry, Faculty of Dentistry, Ribeirão Preto, University of São Paulo, Brazil.


The purpose of this study was to evaluate the analgesic effect of Low Intensity Laser Therapy (LILT) and its influence on masticatory efficiency in patients with temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD). This study was performed using a random, placebo-controlled, and double-blind research design. Fourteen patients were selected and divided into two groups (active and placebo). Infrared laser (780 nm, 70 mw, 60s, 105J/cm2) was applied precisely and continuously into five points of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) area: lateral point (LP), superior point (SP), anterior point (AP), posterior point (PP), and posterior-inferior point (PIP) of the condylar position. This was performed twice per week, for a total of eight sessions. To ensure a double-blind study, two identical probes supplied by the manufacturer were used: one for the active laser and one for the inactive placebo laser. They were marked with different letters (A and B) by a clinician who did not perform the applications. A Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) and a colorimetric capsule method were employed. Data were obtained three times: before treatment (Ev1), shortly after the eighth session (Ev2), and 30 days after the first application (Ev3). Statistical tests revealed significant differences at one percent (1%) likelihood, which implies that superiority of the active group offered considerable TMJ pain improvement. Both groups presented similar masticatory behavior, and no statistical differences were found. With regard to the evaluation session, Ev2 presented the lowest symptoms and highest masticatory efficiency throughout therapy. Therefore, low intensity laser application is effective in reducing TMD symptoms, and has influence over masticatory efficiency [Ev2 (0.2423) and Ev3 (0.2043), observed in the interaction Evaluations x Probes for effective dosage].

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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