Comparison of the effect of photobiomodulation therapy and Ibuprofen on postoperative pain after endodontic treatment: randomized, controlled, clinical study

Lasers Med Sci. 2020 Jun;35(4):971-978. doi: 10.1007/s10103-019-02929-8. Epub 2019 Dec 7.


The aim of the study was to compare the effect of Ibuprofen and the application of photobiomodulation therapy protocol on the reduction of postoperative pain in endodontically treated teeth using a randomized clinical trial design. Seventy patients, diagnosed with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis, were selected. Treatment was performed by a single operator; a reciprocal system was used to prepare the canals; they were obturated using the Tagger's hybrid technique and coronally sealed with glass-ionomer cement. After treatment, patients were randomly divided into 2 groups. In the active control group, two Ibuprofen 600 mg tablets were administered within a 12-h interval. In the photobiomodulation therapy group, the irradiation was applied after treatment. The evaluation of postoperative pain was performed by another researcher blinded to the groups at 6, 12, 24, and 72 h intervals after treatment. To measure the outcome, two pain scales were used: numerical rate scale (NRS) and verbal rate scale (VRS). Data were analyzed using the chi-square, Mann-Whitney, and Wilcoxon paired tests. Outcome was superior with photobiomodulation therapy at 6 h (p < 0.001), 12 h (p = 0.005), and 24 h (p < 0.001) intervals compared with Ibuprofen. The results for the 72 h (p = 0.317) interval were similar, both in the VRS and NRS scales. It may be concluded that the use of photobiomodulation therapy was effective in reducing pain within the first 24 h when compared with the administration of Ibuprofen 600 mg.

Keywords: Clinical trial; Endodontics; Ibuprofen; Photobiomodulation therapy; Postoperative pain.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Endodontics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / therapeutic use*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Male
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / drug therapy*
  • Pain, Postoperative / radiotherapy*
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Ibuprofen