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The use of low-level laser therapy to reduce postoperative morbidity after third molar surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Domah, Farya, Shah, Raunaq, Nurmatov, Ulugbek B. and Tagiyeva, Nara 2021. The use of low-level laser therapy to reduce postoperative morbidity after third molar surgery: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 79 (2) , 313.E1-313.E19. 10.1016/j.joms.2020.09.018

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Purpose Surgical removal of third molars carries morbidity and significantly affects patients' quality-of-life. This study aims to investigate whether administration of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) is effective in reducing postoperative morbidity in patients undergoing surgical removal of mandibular third molars compared with placebo. Material and Methods A systematic review and meta-analysis involving a comprehensive search strategy implemented across 5 electronic databases. This was supplemented by hand searching and contacting international experts and grey literature. Titles, abstracts, and full articles were scrutinized for studies meeting the inclusion criteria. All randomized controlled trials comparing treatment group of LLLT with a placebo control group were eligible for inclusion. The outcomes variables were postoperative pain, swelling, and trismus. Risk of bias and methodological quality assessment was carried out. We pooled data statistically, and meta-analyses were carried out using a random-effects model. Results Seventeen randomized controlled trials were included in this systematic review, all of which were considered to have a low risk of bias. Participants, aged 13 to 70 years, and 35% women, totaled 1064. Meta-analyses found significant reductions in standardized mean differences (SMDs) in swelling at day 2 and day 7 postoperatively (SMD, −0.611; 95% confidence interval, −0.968, −0.234 and SMD, −0.532; 95% confidence interval, −0.795, −0.269). There were nonsignificant reductions in SMD in pain and trismus at day 2 and day 7 postoperatively. Conclusions LLLT significantly reduces swelling after extraction of mandibular third molars compared with placebo. LLLT has not shown to reduce postoperative pain and trismus. LLLT does not cause adverse effects. There is currently insufficient evidence available, to promote the investment in LLLT vs the net clinical benefit. Randomized controlled trials with larger sample size and standardized study design and outcome measures are required, to make definitive recommendations to clinicians on its use on patients.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Publisher: WB Saunders
ISSN: 0278-2391
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 13 November 2020
Date of Acceptance: 11 September 2020
Last Modified: 17 Oct 2021 23:20

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