J Evid Based Dent Pract. 2022 Jun;22(2):101711. doi: 10.1016/j.jebdp.2022.101711. Epub 2022 Mar 6.


Objective: Alveolar osteitis (commonly known as dry socket) is a very common painful complication of dental extraction with no definitive cure. This systematic review assessed the efficacy of laser therapy in the management of alveolar osteitis.

Methods: PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, Embase, Cochrane Central, and China National Knowledge Infrastructure (CNKI) were searched for all studies published till July 2021 using relevant keywords. All clinical trials that assessed the efficacy of laser in the management of alveolar osteitis were included. Due to missing some numerical data and the substantial heterogeneity across the studies, no meta-analysis was performed.

Results: Out of the 296 identified articles, 14 clinical trials comprising 981 patients were included. The laser wavelengths, power output, and energy fluence showed a great variability across the included studies: 632.8 - 2940 nm, 16 mW - 10 W, and 0.2 - 85.7 J/cm2, respectively. All included studies found laser to be efficacious in alleviating pain and accelerating healing in patients with alveolar osteitis. Of the 14 included studies, 13 studies reported superior outcomes in favor of laser therapy as compared to conventional therapies.

Conclusion: The available evidence suggests a good efficacy of laser therapy in reducing signs and symptoms of alveolar osteitis. However, owing to the marked methodological heterogeneity and the substantial variations in laser parameters among the included studies, more well-designed clinical trials with adequate sample sizes and standardized laser parameters are highly recommended.

Clinical significance: Laser therapy can be applied for the management of dry socket.

Keywords: Alveolar osteitis; Dry socket; Laser therapy; Systematic review.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • China
  • Dry Socket* / etiology
  • Dry Socket* / radiotherapy
  • Humans
  • Low-Level Light Therapy* / adverse effects
  • Tooth Extraction / adverse effects
  • Wound Healing