Low Level Laser Therapy

SCMC 3-4-2009 copyby Chris Edwards, DDS

March/April 2009

LLLT is non-invasive, non-toxic, highly effective and has no known side effects

LOW LEVEL LASERS have many applications in dentistry. They are used to treat bone infections, canker sores, gingivitis, cold sores, lip wounds, swelling, pain and Temporomandibular joint disorder as well as other dental conditions such as controlling bleeding, decreasing pain and speeding healing.


Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT) is a dynamic, emerging healing technology, which promises to improve dental and medical care across a wide variety of disciplines. It is sometimes called cold laser, soft laser, or laser phototherapy because it is given at a gentle output, powers shown to be quite safe and which also differentiate it from higher-powered cutting lasers. The term photobiomodulation is accepted as a description of its effects on cells.

Low Level Lasers irradiate normal and abnormal tissue with photons at a gentle intensity below the level of thermal damage. Photons are quanta of light energy that are absorbed by a variety of micromolecules within the cell, a process that initiates a number of positive physiological responses. In essence, light energy is converted into biochemical energy. The result – normal cell morphology and function are restored. Cell membrane function is improved and stem cells are converted to new tissue cells to speed healing. Enhanced healing is accompanied by a decrease in inflammation and pain.

The term laser is an acronym for light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation. The theory of lasers was initially proposed by Einstein in 1917, and the first working laser device was made in 1960 by Theodore Maiman at Hughes Research Labs. Much of the primary research comes from Russia, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe in the countries of the former Soviet Union where lasers have been used for more than 40 years.

The advantages of low level laser therapy are many. LLLT is non-invasive, non-toxic, easily applied, highly effective, and has no known side effects. There is almost no sensation other than occasional slight warmth. Virtually all cell types are benefited by the laser energy, whether a bone, muscle, ligament, nerve, connective tissue, or even a blood cell.

Lasers versatile tool

Low Level Lasers have many applications in dentistry. They are used to treat bone infections, canker sores, gingivitis, cold sores, lip wounds, swelling, pain and Temporomandibular joint disorder as well as other dental conditions. Lasers can be used before and after drilling, extractions, surgeries and implant placement to control bleeding, decrease pain and speed healing.

I am now using Low Level Laser Therapy as part of total health care for my patients. My use of lasers in Dentistry started in 2002, with the Diagnodent Laser Cavity Detector. The Diagnodent detects cavities long before they can be identified by the naked eye or the dreaded ‘pick’. In 2006 I added the WaterlaseMD, a sophisticated laser that cuts through tissue, bone and teeth, oft en times not requiring local anesthesia. There are Low Level Laser benefits associated with the WaterlaseMD, which is one of the reasons that healing of tissue is much faster and there is less tooth post-op sensitivity.

International teacher

In spite of their many well-documented therapeutic applications and benefits, Low level Lasers have been largely overlooked in dentistry and medicine, but this is rapidly changing. We are fortunate to have an international teacher and researcher here in Brevard County. David Rindge DOM, LAc, RN is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, acupuncturist and registered nurse, who has written a textbook on Low Level Laser Therapy and travels worldwide teaching and lecturing on this subject. Rindge practices in Melbourne, and his website www.CooperativeMedicine. com contains an extensive library of more than 2000 scientific abstracts organized by topic or condition as well as many articles he has written about Low Level Laser Therapy.


Dr. Edwards graduated from the United States Merchant Marine Academy and Temple University School of Dentistry. He completed a general practice residency at the Queens Medical Center in Honolulu. To reach Dr. Edwards you may call 321-751-7775 or visit