Author(s): Saito S
The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of low-power laser irradiation on bone regeneration during expansion of a midpalatal suture in rats. Gallium-aluminum-arsenide diode laser 100 mW irradiation was applied to the midpalatal suture during expansion carried out over 7 days (3 or 10 minutes per day), 3 days (7 minutes per day for day 0-2 or 4-6), and 1 day (21 uninterrupted minutes on day 0). The bone regeneration in the midpalatal suture estimated by histomorphometric method in the 7-day irradiation group showed significant acceleration at 1.2- to 1.4-fold compared with that in the nonirradiated rats, and this increased rate was irradiation dose-dependent. Irradiation during the early period of expansion (days 0 to 2) was most effective, whereas neither the later period (days 4 to 6) nor the one-time irradiation had any effect on bone regeneration. These findings suggest that low-power laser irradiation can accelerate bone regeneration in a midpalatal suture during rapid palatal expansion and that this effect is dependent not only on the total laser irradiation dosage but also on the timing and frequency of irradiation. We suggest laser therapy may be of therapeutic benefit in inhibiting relapse and shortening the retention period through acceleration of bone regeneration in the midpalatal suture.