Objective: The aim of this retrospective study was to evaluate the effectiveness of laser therapy for acceleration and recovery of nerve sensitivity after orthognathic or minor oral surgeries, by analysis of clinical records of patients treated at the Special Laboratory of Lasers in Dentistry (LELO, School of Dentistry, University of São Paulo), throughout the period 2007-2013.
Background data: Nerve tissue lesions may occur during various dental and routine surgical procedures, resulting in paresthesia. Laser therapy has been shown to be able to accelerate and enhance the regeneration of the affected nerve tissue; however, there are few studies in the literature that evaluate the effects of treatment with low-power laser on neural changes after orthognathic or minor oral surgeries.
Methods: A total of 125 clinical records were included, and the data on gender, age, origin of the lesion, nerve, interval between surgery and onset of laser therapy, frequency of laser irradiation (one or two times per week), final evolution, and if there was a need to change the irradiation protocol, were all recorded. These data were related to the recovery of sensitivity in the affected nerve area. Descriptive analyses and modeling for analysis of categorical data (α=5%) were performed.
Results: The results from both analyses showed that the recovery of sensitivity was correlated with patient age (p=0.015) and interval between surgery and onset of laser therapy (p=0.002).
Conclusions: Within the limits of this retrospective study, it was found that low- power laser therapy with beam emission band in the infrared spectrum (808 nm) can positively affect the recovery of sensitivity after orthognathic or minor oral surgeries.