The effect of low-level laser therapy on trismus and facial swelling following surgical extraction of a lower third molar

Photomed Laser Surg. 2009 Feb;27(1):21-4. doi: 10.1089/pho.2008.2258.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on postoperative trismus and edema after the removal of mandibular third molars.

Materials and methods: Thirty-two patients who were to undergo surgical removal of lower third molars were studied. Patients were randomly allocated to two groups, LLLT and placebo. Patients in the LLLT group received 12 J (4 J/cm(2)) low-level laser irradiation to the operative side intraorally 1 cm from the target tissue, and to the masseter muscle extraorally immediately after surgery. In the placebo group the handpiece was inserted into the operative side intraorally and was applied to the masseter muscle extraorally each for 1 min, but laser power was not activated. Inter-incisal opening and facial swelling were evaluated on postoperative days 2 and 7. Student's t-test used to analyze the data.

Results: It was determined that the trismus and the swelling in LLLT group were significantly less than in the placebo group on postoperative days 2 and 7.

Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study it can be concluded that LLLT can be beneficial for the reduction of postoperative trismus and swelling after third molar surgery.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Edema / etiology
  • Edema / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Molar, Third / surgery*
  • Postoperative Hemorrhage
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects*
  • Trismus / etiology
  • Trismus / prevention & control*
  • Young Adult