Is Low-Level Laser Therapy Effective for Treatment of Neurosensory Deficits Arising From Sagittal Split Ramus Osteotomy?

J Oral Maxillofac Surg. 2017 Oct;75(10):2085-2090. doi: 10.1016/j.joms.2017.04.004. Epub 2017 Apr 13.


Purpose: This study investigated the effectiveness of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) for treating neurosensory impairment after bilateral sagittal split osteotomy (BSSO).

Materials and methods: This randomized, double-blinded, split-mouth trial included patients requiring BSSO. After surgery, 1 side of each patient was randomly assigned to laser therapy and the other side served as the control. At 24, 48, and 72 hours after surgery, LLLT was accomplished by intraoral application of a 660-nm laser around the surgical site (200 mW, 10 seconds, 2 J, 1.5 J/cm2) followed by extraoral irradiation by an 810-nm laser (200 mW, 10 seconds, 2 J, 7 J/cm2) along the distribution of the inferior alveolar nerve. Subsequently, extraoral irradiation was repeated 2 times per week for 3 weeks along the path of the inferior alveolar nerve, lower lip, and chin. On the control side, the treatment was similar to the laser side but with laser simulation. The main outcome was assessing nerve damage by a "2-point discrimination test" before and up to 60 days after surgery.

Results: The sample consisted of 16 patients. No significant difference was found between the laser and control sides before and after surgery and on postoperative days 15 and 30 (P > .05). The 2-point discrimination distance was significantly shorter on the laser side than on the control side on postoperative days 45 and 60 (P < .05).

Conclusion: LLLT was effective in the treatment of neurosensory disturbances arising from BSSO. Therefore, LLLT can be recommended to accelerate the recovery of sensory aberrations in patients undergoing BSSO.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology*
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / radiotherapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Mandibular Nerve*
  • Osteotomy, Sagittal Split Ramus / adverse effects*
  • Postoperative Complications / etiology*
  • Postoperative Complications / radiotherapy*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sensation Disorders / etiology*
  • Sensation Disorders / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult