Low-Level Laser Effect on Mandibular Distraction Osteogenesis

Michael Miloro, Jason J. Miller, Julie A. Stoner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine whether low-level laser (LLL) application during distraction osteogenesis could accelerate bone regeneration and decrease the length of the consolidation phase and thereby reduce potential patient morbidity. Materials and Methods: Nine adult female New Zealand white rabbits underwent bilateral mandibular corticotomies and placement of unidirectional distraction devices (KLS-Martin LP, Jacksonville, FL). Each rabbit served as its own internal control. After a latency of 1 day, distraction progressed bilaterally at 1 mm per day for 10 days. Immediately after each device activation, the experimental side, chosen randomly, was treated with real LLL (Laser Medical Systems, Hedehusene, Denmark) of 6.0 J × 6 transmucosal sites in the area of the distraction gap. Radiographs were taken presurgically, immediately postsurgically, and weekly until sacrifice, and the bone was analyzed using a semiquantitative 4-point scale (Bone Healing Score [BHS]). Three animals each were sacrificed at 2, 4, and 6 weeks postdistraction, and each hemimandible was prepared for histologic examination in a blinded fashion. Results: Ten millimeters of distraction was achieved in each rabbit bilaterally. Radiographically, the BHS was higher for the LLL-treated group at all time periods. Histologically, the area of new bone trabeculation and ossification was more advanced for the LLL-treated group, with less intervening fibrovascular intermediate zone in the bony regenerate, at all time periods. The formation of a complete inferior border occurred sooner in the treatment group than in the controls. Conclusions: LLL accelerates the process of bone regeneration during the consolidation phase after distraction osteogenesis. The adjunctive use of LLL may allow a shortened period of consolidation and therefore permit earlier device removal, with the avoidance of morbidity associated with prolonged device retention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)168-176
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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