Aims: To investigate the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) on experimentally induced inflammation in retrodiscal tissues of the rabbit temporo?mandibular joint (TMJ) using scintigraphic imaging.
Methods: Eleven male New Zealand rabbits were included in this study. Six randomly selected rabbits were imaged to provide normal joint images (normal group) before the initiation of the experiment. A 5% formalin solution was locally injected into both right and left TMJs of all rabbits. Subsequently, Ga-Al-As laser (wavelength: 815 nm; energy density: 12 J/cm2; output power: 250 mW) was applied for 48 seconds. The treatment was performed six times for 2 weeks to the left TMJ of all rabbits. The right TMJs of the rabbits were used as the control (nontreated) TMJ group, while left TMJs were used as the treated TMJ group. Static images of TMJ were taken at 24 hours, 7 days, and 14 days after the beginning of the treatment. The images of all TMJs were taken in the posteroanterior direction with the rabbit under sedation and its mouth open. The Mann-Whitney U test was used to compare group differences, and intragroup differences were determined by the Friedman test and Wilcoxon sign test.
Results: Significant differences were found between normal and both the control and treated TMJ groups. A reduction of inflammation in both treated and control TMJ groups was obtained, but there was no statistically significant difference between the groups.
Conclusion: Under the conditions used in this study, quantitative scintigraphic measurements of TMJ inflammation of the treated TMJ group decreased but did not differ significantly from those of the control TMJ group.