Low-level laser therapy for orthodontic pain: a systematic review

Lasers Med Sci. 2015 Aug;30(6):1789-803. doi: 10.1007/s10103-014-1661-x. Epub 2014 Sep 26.


This review aimed to evaluate the clinical outcome of different lasers management on orthodontic pain. Cochrane Library (Issue 7, 2014) and MEDLINE (1966-2014.7) were searched to collect randomized controlled trials on lasers for orthodontic pain. Studies meeting the inclusion criteria were systematically evaluated. The Cochrane Collaboration tools RevMan5.1.7 and GRADEpro 3.6 were used in this systematic review and meta-analysis. As a result, 11 randomized controlled trials (RCTs) studying on low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for orthodontic pain control were included. Meta-analysis and risk of bias assessment were implemented using RevMan5.1.7, and level of evidence assessments was measured by GRADEpro 3.6. In the outcome of the score of the most painful day, the comparison of laser versus placebo (pain associated with tooth movement) demonstrated that LLLT reduced the pain score significantly compared with placebo groups (MD = -4.39, 95% CI range -5.9--2.88, P < 0.00001). In the same way, the most painful day was significantly brought forward in laser versus control group (MD = -0.42, 95% CI range -0.74--0.10, P = 0.009). Furthermore, the outcome of the end of pain day showed a trend of pain termination earlier in laser versus control and placebo groups, but without statistical significance (MD = -1.37, 95% CI range -3.37-0.64, P = 0.18 and MD = -1.04, 95% CI range -4.22-2.15, P = 0.52). However, for the reason of downgrade factors, all the GRADE level of evidences of eight comparisons for three outcomes showed a very low quality. Therefore, for the methodological shortcomings and risk of bias of RCTs included, insufficient evidence was submitted to judge whether LLLT was effective in relieving orthodontic pain. Further and more perfect researches should be done in order to recommend LLLT as a routine method for orthodontic pain.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Lasers
  • Low-Level Light Therapy / methods*
  • Male
  • Pain / radiotherapy*
  • Pain Management
  • Placebos
  • Young Adult


  • Placebos