Efficacy of low-intensity laser therapy in reducing treatment time and orthodontic pain: a clinical investigation

Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 2012 Mar;141(3):289-297. doi: 10.1016/j.ajodo.2011.09.009.


Introduction: The long duration of orthodontic treatment is a major concern for patients. A noninvasive method of accelerating tooth movement in a physiologic manner is needed. The aim of this study was to evaluate of the efficacy of low-intensity laser therapy in reducing orthodontic treatment duration and pain.

Methods: Twenty patients requiring extraction of first premolars were selected for this study. We used a randomly assigned incomplete block split-mouth design. Individual canine retraction by a nickel-titanium closed-coil spring was studied. The experimental side received infrared radiation from a semiconductor (aluminium gallium arsenide) diode laser with a wavelength of 810 nm. The laser regimen was applied on days 0, 3, 7, and 14 in the first month, and thereafter on every 15th day until complete canine retraction was achieved on the experimental side. Tooth movement was measured on progress models. Each patient's pain response was ranked according to a visual analog scale.

Results: An average increase of 30% in the rate of tooth movement was observed with the low-intensity laser therapy. Pain scores on the experimental sides were significantly lower compared with the control sides.

Conclusions: Low-intensity laser therapy is a good option to reduce treatment duration and pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Bicuspid / surgery
  • Child
  • Cuspid / pathology
  • Cuspid / radiation effects
  • Dental Alloys / chemistry
  • Dental Arch / pathology
  • Dental Arch / radiation effects
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Lasers, Semiconductor / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Mandible / pathology
  • Mandible / radiation effects
  • Maxilla / pathology
  • Maxilla / radiation effects
  • Models, Dental
  • Nickel / chemistry
  • Orthodontic Brackets
  • Orthodontic Wires
  • Pain / prevention & control*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Stainless Steel / chemistry
  • Titanium / chemistry
  • Tooth Extraction
  • Tooth Movement Techniques / instrumentation
  • Tooth Movement Techniques / methods*
  • Tooth Root / radiation effects
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Dental Alloys
  • titanium nickelide
  • Stainless Steel
  • Nickel
  • Titanium