Effect of Photobiomodulation on Relapse in an Experimental Rapid Maxillary Expansion Model in Rat

Photochem Photobiol. 2021 May;97(3):634-640. doi: 10.1111/php.13365. Epub 2020 Dec 25.


Rapid maxillary expansion (RME) is performed on transversely deficient maxilla. As all orthodontic treatments, retention is important in maintaining therapeutic outcomes. Fixed /removable retainers are used post-RME causing hygiene and compliance problems. Given photobiomodulation's positive effects on the quantity and quality of bone regeneration, its effect on post-RME relapse was studied. Thirty Sprague Dawley rats were randomly divided into group R, non-irradiated RME-treated (n = 12), group P, irradiated RME-treated (n = 12) and group C, non-RME non-irradiated (n = 6). A 1.5 mm metal ring inserted between maxillary incisors at days 0 and 15 was expanded until 1.5 mm space was obtained at day 30. In group P, Ga-Al-As diode laser (810 nm, 100 mW, 4J/cm2 , 30 secs) was applied on days 0, 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 and 14 as predictor variable. The relapse was measured as the space lost between incisors for 30 days after appliance removal (primary outcome variable) and compared with t-test. In week 2, space loss in group P was significantly lower (P < 0.05) than all other groups. The relapse during weeks 2 and 3 was significantly lower in group P than group R. However, no significant difference in relapse amount was found between groups during first and fourth week. There was a significant difference (P < 0.05) between groups in relapse rates (secondary outcome variable) but not in total relapse after 4 weeks. Photobiomodulation proved beneficial in resisting relapse in our study, and it is suggested to be continued until the end of expansion.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Maxilla*
  • Palatal Expansion Technique*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Recurrence