Purpose: Free gingival grafts (FGGs) are used to increase keratinized tissue; however, this technique causes patients discomfort in the donor area. A biomodulation laser has been used in both in vivo and in vitro experiments to accelerate the healing process and modulate cellular metabolism. The purpose of this study was to investigate the intensity of pain as well as wound-healing chronology and quality in FGGs using laser radiation after surgery. Materials and Methods: Ten patients with insufficient keratinized gingival tissue were randomly divided into two groups: control and laser (LED, 5 W, λ = 650 nm, and 8 J/cm2 at 0 h, 48 h and 72 h after surgery). The intensity of pain was evaluated using a numerical scale ranging from 0 to 10, where 0 is no pain and 10 is severe pain, on each of the 7 postoperative days. The wound healing of all patients was evaluated by visual inspection (7, 14 and 21 days after surgery). Results: Statistically significant differences in pain level were found between the control and laser groups on days 1 and 2 after surgery (p < 0.05). The wound healing analysis showed that 80% of the irradiated patients and 40% of patients in the control group were healed 14 days after surgery. Conclusion: The use of laser therapy improved the initial discomfort after FGG surgery. The results of this preliminary study have minor statistical significance because only a limited number of patients were included.
Keywords: wound healing, pain intensity, laser biomodulation