Purpose: Laser acupuncture (LA) using different wavelengths (λ1 = 685 nm, λ2 = 875 nm, λ3 = 904 nm) is investigated as an independent method or in combination with laser magnetotherapy for treatment of symptoms of occlusal trauma. The aim of this clinical investigation is to study the healing effect of low-power laser irradiation (LPLI) at the wavelengths mentioned and to determine the optimal dose (OD) for different degrees of severity and cases. Materials and Methods: Eighty patients with manifest symptoms of occlusal trauma (OTS) were examined using functional diagnostics (Index of Dysfunction, Visual Analogue Scales). Patients were divided into 4 groups according to their stage of pathology and the healing method used. Group 1 was treated with red laser acupuncture, group 2 with infrared laser acupuncture, group 3 underwent a combined therapeutic program (CTP) consisting of red and infrared laser acupuncture and laser magnetotherapy, and group 4 (control) received medicinal therapy and selective grinding in. The laser used was a GaAlAs class III-B diode laser. The Signal Detection Theory was applied to electrophysiologically evaluate the analgesic and the healing effect achieved by different laser protocols. In this way, we established the optimal dose of laser irradiation for each method (red and infrared LA, CTP) of treating the characteristic symptoms of occlusal trauma. Results: Laser treatment is most effective when the physical parameters of LPLI are changed frequently, providing optimal stimulation. The combined program at the three wavelengths mentioned above, with an OD of 7.4 J/cm2 and 10 to 12 treatment sessions achieves the fastest and most enduring effect. Conclusion: Laser acupuncture combined with laser magnetotherapy proved effective in relieving occlusal trauma symptoms.
Keywords: low power laser irradiation, diode laser class III-B, laser magnetotherapy, laser acupuncture, occlusal traumatic symptoms, occlusal pain syndrome, bone destruction, Signal Detection Theory