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Pain Research and Management
Volume 2018, Article ID 4230583, 13 pages
Research Article

Low-Level Laser Therapy for Temporomandibular Disorders: A Systematic Review with Meta-Analysis

1Key Laboratory of Shaanxi Province for Craniofacial Precision Medicine Research, Research Center of Stomatology, College of Stomatology, Xi’an Jiaotong University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
2Department of Neurosurgery, First Affiliated Hospital of Xi’an Medical University, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China
3Department of Psychiatry, Xi’an Mental Health Center, Xi’an, Shaanxi, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Dong-Yuan Cao; moc.liamtoh@oac_nauygnod

Received 14 January 2018; Accepted 3 April 2018; Published 10 May 2018

Academic Editor: Klaus Boening

Copyright © 2018 Gang-Zhu Xu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objectives. We systematically reviewed randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of the effect of low-level laser therapy (LLLT) versus placebo in patients with temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Methods. A systematic search of multiple online sources electronic databases was undertaken. The methodological quality of each included study was assessed using the modified Jadad scale, and the quality of evidence was evaluated using the Grading of Recommendations, Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system. Results. A total of 31 RCTs were included. Total modified Jadad scale scores showed that the methodological quality was high in 30 studies and low in 1 study. Combining data from all clinically heterogeneous studies revealed positive effects of LLLT on pain relief, regardless of the visual analogue scale (VAS) score or the change of VAS score between the baseline and the final follow-up time point, while dosage analyses showed discrepant results about the effects of high or low doses for patients with TMD. Follow-up analyses showed that LLLT significantly reduced pain at the short-term follow-up. Temporomandibular joint function outcomes indicated that the overall effect favored LLLT over placebo. Conclusion. This systematic review suggests that LLLT effectively relieves pain and improves functional outcomes in patients with TMD.