Author(s): Angela Dominguez
Purpose: In vitro studies, animal models, and human case reports all suggest that the application of low-intensity laser accelerates orthodontic dental movement. This first prospective parallel cohort study was designed to study the effect of therapeutic laser on the time required to complete a corrective non-extraction orthodontic treatment in patients with crowding. Materials and Methods: Sixty consecutive patients with crowding 5 mm or less, ages between 20 and 30 years old, comprised the initial sample. The first group of 30 made up the experimental group C-NE-LA (crowding–non-extraction–laser) and the next 30 patients formed the control group C-NE-NL (crowding – nonextraction – no laser).The final sample was reduced to 23 in the experimental group and 22 in the control group. The experimental group was irradiated with Photon Lase III at a wavelength of 830 nm, energy 80 J, for 22 s along the dental vestibular surface, and 22 s along the palatal surface of the teeth, 24 h after the first control, and then at every appointment. The control group received identical treatment appliances but was not laser irradiated. The outcome variable was: days to complete the treatment. Results: The average duration of the treatment in the laser group was 398.4 ± 87.8 days while for the control group it was 565.5 ± 130.3. The difference is statistically significant (p < 0.00001). The average reduction in the treatment duration achieved by laser application was 167 days (30% less). Conclusion: Low-intensity laser applied during orthodontic treatment to correct dental crowding, under the protocol described here, accelerated the dental movement, reducing the average time of treatment by 30%.