Introduction: In low-level laser therapy (LLLT), applications are generally performed in repetitive sessions using wavelengths of around 800 nm, at which the depth of penetration of laser is greater. The present study aimed to investigate the effects of LLLT with a 940 nm diode laser, which was performed extraorally on all the primarily and secondarily affected areas immediately after surgery in a single session, on pain, swelling, and trismus that occurred after impacted tooth extraction.
Materials and methods: Thirty-five outpatients with similarly impacted lower third molars on both sides were selected. The teeth of patients were removed in two separate operations. Postoperatively, the patients received laser therapy with energy of 4 J/cm(2) on one side and no laser energy was applied to the other side (placebo side). Swelling, trismus, and subjective assessment of pain on a visual analog scale were evaluated and compared between the laser-treated and placebo sides.
Results: There was no statistically significant difference in pain, swelling, or trismus between the sides (Mann-Whitney U test p > 0.05). However, according to the clinical outcomes, swelling and trismus were less in the laser-treated side than in the placebo side.
Conclusions: A single-session LLLT that would be applied with a diode laser immediately after impacted tooth extraction might help patients to be less affected by postoperative trismus and swelling.