Orthognathic surgery is the surgical procedure that makes correcting deformities of the bones in the region of the maxilla and mandible a reality in the Brazilian dentistry. However, this type of surgery usually involves paresthesia in the postoperative period, concerning the surgeons who perform them and generating discomfort to patients. This study aimed at evaluating the effect of infrared laser (830 nm) in the prevention and treatment of paresthesias after orthognathic surgery. Six patients underwent orthognathic surgery: the experimental group composed of 4 patients and the control group that did not receive laser therapy composed of 2 patients. The experimental group received laser applications during the transoperative and 12 postoperative sessions. Tests for mechanical (deep and shallow) and thermal (cold) sensitivity were performed in the preoperative and postoperative period (during 12 sessions) in the lip and chin areas by the same operator. The paresthesia was classified into 1, strong; 2, moderate; 3, mild; and 4, absent, through the patient’s response to stimuli. The results showed that all patients had no disturbance of sensitivity in the preoperative period, but paresthesia was presented at various levels in the postoperative period. Both groups showed recovery of deep mechanical sensitivity within a shorter time interval compared with the superficial mechanical and thermal sensitivity. However, at the 12th assessment, patients who underwent the laser therapy showed better reduction in the level of paresthesia or even complete regression of this. The laser, therefore, brought benefits to the treatment of paresthesia, accelerating the return of neurosensorial sensitivity.
From the Faculty of Dentistry of Pernambuco, University of Pernambuco (FOP-UPE), Recife, Brazil.
Received September 20, 2012.
Accepted for publication October 5, 2012.
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The authors report no conflicts of interest.