MATERIALS AND METHOD: Forty-five patients with dry socket were divided into two treatment groups. Group I dry socket patients (n = 30) received conventional treatment while group II patients (n = 15) were irradiated with LLLT at a setting of 200-mW, 6-J, continuous-wave mode using an R02 tipless handpiece (Fotona Er:YAG, Europe), on the buccal, lingual, and middle surfaces of the socket for 30 s from a delivery distance of 1 cm. Pain score and quantification of granulation tissue in the socket were recorded at 0, 4, and 7 days post-dry socket treatment.
RESULTS: Results showed that the LLLT-irradiated group II sockets showed a much lower VAS pain score of 1-2 as early as day 4, and a richer amount of granulation tissue compared to the conventional treated group I socket. The amount and rate of granulation tissue formation in the dry socket are inversely proportional to the pain score showing significant clinical effectiveness of LLLT on promoting the healing of the dry socket, with improvement in symptoms (P = .001). Conventionally treated dry sockets take at least 7 days to match the effective healing of an LLLT-irradiated dry socket.
CONCLUSION: LLLT irradiation influences biomodulation of dry socket healing by dampening inflammation, promoting vascularization, stimulating granulation, and controlling pain symptoms.
CLINICAL RELEVANCE: LLLT may be an additional effective tool for managing dry sockets in general dental practice.