Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT)
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Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT)

Low Level Laser Light Therapy (LLLT)
Harpenden Dentist - Wayside Dental Practice
06, Aug 2019

At Wayside we are dedicated to making dentistry as comfortable as possible and have invested in dental lasers to help achieve this. Not only are lasers a gentle alternative to the scalpel and drill, but they can also be used to reduce pain, inflammation and encourage regeneration of hard and soft tissue. This is known as Low Level Laser Light Therapy or Photobiomodulation. LLLT is used in many medical treatments too.

The Science

After trauma or infection, it isn’t just visible damage that results: the processes inside the building blocks of our body’s tissues, called cells, are also disrupted. The general term for this is cellular stress.

Cells contain structures inside them called mitochondria, of which the main function is to release energy for the cell to use. Clearly, this is especially important at times of damage and tissue repair, and very metabolically active cells require large numbers of mitochondria to function.

Mitochondria however, are also the main cellular producers of reactive oxygen species. Simply, these are produced as a by product of the mitochondria releasing energy, and are produced in greater quantities at times of cellular stress. Unfortunately this leads to further cell damage.

LLLT works by reducing the production of these reactive oxygen species, allowing faster cell healing, reducing further damage and it also encourages more healing cells to the area. The effect that the light has on this reaction is termed photochemical: a similar concept to how plants use light to make energy.

LLLT in dental treatments

Oral Surgery

LLLT can be used after any type of oral surgery, so after a tooth extraction and gum surgery. The application of LLLT has an analgesic effect and leads to less post-operative pain and swelling.

Dental Implants

At Wayside, all dental implants are placed with the aid of a dental laser, for precision, accuracy with often no need for stitches. LLLT is applied at placement not only to reduce inflammation but also to encourage bone and tissue growth to help the implant to integrate. This is hugely beneficial as osseointegration is the key to the success of the implant. Our patients often report very little or no post-operative pain and inflammation following implant placement.

Periodontal treatments

Laser use is highly effective in periodontal treatments. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection that penetrates deep into the gums and eventually causes bone loss and the tooth to loosen. Not only does laser use sterilise the area to prevent the reinfection occurring, it encourages bone cells to regenerate, leading to bone growth in the area. The results are incredible and can mean that teeth can now be saved that would otherwise have been extracted.

Root Fillings

The laser is used in root fillings not only to sterilise the canal, but also to reduce pain and inflammation following the procedure.


Jaw pain from clenching can be extremely painful and also lead to intense headaches. LLLT can be used to relieve muscular pain from the temporomandibular joint.

Oral Mucositis

Mucositis can result fromradiotherapy or chemotherapy. It causes tissues in the mouth to become inflamed and ulcers to form and can be extremely painful, making it difficult to eat. LLLT is a highly effective treatment for this condition and is now NICE accredited.

Cold Sores and Ulcers

LLLT is an effective treatment for cold sores and ulcers.

At Wayside we use lasers is many dental treatments, so take a look at our website to find out more.