Effect of Low- Level Laser Therapy on Bone Regeneration of Critical-Size Bone Defects: A Systematic Review of In Vivo Studies and Meta-Analysis

Arch Oral Biol. 2020 Sep:117:104782. doi: 10.1016/j.archoralbio.2020.104782. Epub 2020 May 28.


Objective: Low-level laser therapy is a method for osteogenesis since it stimulates cell proliferation, vascularization and osteoblastic activity. Various protocols applying low-level laser with different outcomes exist. The aim of the present study was to review the result of different methods on bone formation in critical-size defects of in vivo studies.

Design: According to PRISMA statement, electronic search of PubMed, google scholar, Scopus and Web of Science and a hand search limited to in vivo English language studies until December 2019. Studies used low-level laser therapy in bone regeneration of critical-size defects met the inclusion criteria and which used high power lasers or a defect size smaller than 5 mm, were excluded.

Results: Finally, 18 studies were included. Fourteen studies utilized low-level laser with a wavelength ranging from 606 to 980 nm and 53 % of studies applied low-level laser in a single session. Ten studies utilized continuous wave mode of laser. Highest and lowest values of power density were 1.5 W/cm2 and 0.1 W/cm2 in order. Eleven studies evaluated low-lever laser therapy on defects of 5 mm in calvaria. Meta-analysis showed the positive effect of low-level laser therapy on osteogenesis after 30 days compared to control group and no significant difference after 60 days.

Conclusions: New bone formation can be increased in early stage by applying low-level laser therapy through stimulating osteoblasts and fibroblasts' proliferation. This effect would be more remarkable by combining with bone substitutes. Hence, for each case, protocol selection should be performed according defect's properties, attentively.

Keywords: Bone formation; Bone regenerations; Laser therapy; Low power laser therapy; Photobiomodulation; Therapeutic laser.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Regeneration*
  • Low-Level Light Therapy*
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Skull / pathology
  • Skull / radiation effects*