Are Lasers the Answer? Study Looks at Potential New Treatment for Dentin Hypersensitivity

According to a recent study reported on by, laser therapy has the potential to effectively reduce hypersensitivity in patients with periodontal disease or you’ve recently had periodontal treatment. And while the research on this is still in the very early stages, results from one study have proven to be positive.

Researchers in Barcelona, Spain led by Dr. Cristina Garcia-Delany, DDS  tested the effectiveness of laser therapy as a hypersensitivity treatment on 30 participants who were experiencing increased dentin sensitivity after receiving scaling and root planning. To participate in the study each person needed to be experiencing hypersensitivity in at least two teeth in two separate quadrants and to not have recently had any other sensitivity causing treatments, including whitening and orthodontic work.

For the study, the team used a laser (Thor Photomedicine type) 5mm away from the tooth for 60 seconds to complete the treatment. Each participant had two teeth treated and two control teeth untreated for comparison after the laser therapy was complete.

To assess the study, patients rated their tooth pain before and after the study on a visual analog scale (VAS), which allowed them to pick a point on a continuous line instead of a straightforward numerical scale. A higher point on the line indicated a higher level of pain. The VAS scores, originally published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Dentistry (May 1, 2017), from before and after the study are below:

<table style="float: left;" border="1px"><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tbody><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td><strong>VAS score<br /> control teeth</strong> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td><strong>VAS score<br />     laser-treated teeth</strong> </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>Before treatment </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>47.7 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>50.4 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td> Immediately after treatment</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>41.5 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>23.2 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td> 2 weeks after treatment</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>34.4 mm </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>18.1 mm </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td> 1 month after treatment</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>34.5 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>17.1 mm </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td> 2 months after treatment</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>39.1 mm</td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --><td>18.35 mm </td><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tr><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></tbody><!-- [et_pb_line_break_holder] --></table>

After the treatment participants the reduction in pain scores among participants was significant compared to the control teeth and continued to decline in the 60 days following the study.

The positive results indicate there is a strong case for further research into laser therapy as a quick and effective treatment for patients experiencing hypersensitivity as a result of periodontal issues or treatment.

And as tooth sensitivity has become one of the most common oral health issues reported by patients in recent years, this could provide a way to better care for them and improve their experience with your practice if it becomes an accepted form of treatment.