Effectiveness of Low-Level Laser Therapy in Temporomandibular Disorders

Key Words: TMJ, TMD, Laser Therapy, Temporomandibular Joint Disorder

Ambra Petrucci, DDS/Fabrizio Sgolastra, DDS/Roberto Gatto, MD, DMD/Antonella Mattei, ScD/Annalisa Monaco, DDS

Aim: To assess the scientific evidence on the efficacy of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) in the treatment of temporomandibular disorders (TMD).

Methods: The databases of PubMed, Science Direct, Cochrane Clinical Trials Register, and PEDro were manually and electronically searched up to February 2010. Two independent reviewers screened, extracted, and assessed the quality of the publications. A meta-analysis- was performed to quantify the pooled effect of LLLT on pain and function in patients with chronic TMD.

Results: The literature search identified 323 papers without overlap between selected databases, but after the two-phase study selection, only six randomized clinical trials (RCT) were included in the systematic review. The primary outcome of interest was the change in pain from baseline to endpoint. The pooled effect of LLLT on pain, measured through a visual analog scale with a mean difference of 7.77 mm (95% confidence interval [CI]: –2.49 to 18.02), was not statistically significant from placebo. Change from baseline to endpoint of secondary outcomes was 4.04 mm (95% CI 3.06 to 5.02) for mandibular maximum vertical opening; 1.64 mm (95% CI 0.10 to 3.17) for right lateral excursion and 1.90 mm (95% CI: –4.08 to 7.88) for left lateral excursion.

Conclusion: Currently, there is no evidence to support the effectiveness of LLLT in the treatment of TMD. J Orofac Pain 2011;25:298–307

AZ TMJ focuses on treatment methods for TMJ and migraine headache that have been proven to be effective through research. Dr. Stan Farrell does not use laser therapy for the treatment of TMJ disorders, due to the lack of evidence and research behind their effectiveness. Dr. Farrell focuses his treatment on non-surgical methods like custom splints, medication management and trigger point injections. All of which have been proven to be effective. Additionally, Dr. Farrell does not prescribe the use of narcotics. Our goal is to treat the root problem of your pain and not just medicate it. If you suffer from TMJ pain, call and schedule an appointment with Dr. Farrell and know that you’re getting the best treatment available by a Board Certified Doctor in Orofacial Pain. www.headpaininstitute.com