Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) consist on a group of pathologies that commonly affects the masticatory muscles, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and other related structures. The most prevalent symptoms are joint sounds, muscular pain, joint pain and limited mandibular movements. The TMD treatment should be based on an accurate diagnosis and promove an improvement of the quality of life. One of the options dentists have to treat TMD involves an occlusal splint and low intensity laser phototherapy (LILP), which represents a non-invasive treatment. The aim of this study is to evaluate the effect of LILP in patients presenting TMD, when indicated the use of occlusal splints. Pain and the range of mandibular movements will be measured by the RDC/TMD test (Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders), comparing a control group (treated with occlusal splint but no phototherapy) with two experimental groups (treated with occlusal splint and two phototherapy different protocols). It is believed that LILP and occlusal splints could reduce painful symptoms by analgesic and antiinflamatory influence (LILP) and decrease of functional TMJ overloading (occlusal splint). The treatment consists on 10 sessions of LILP in patients starting therapy with occlusal splints. 30 subjects with be randomly assigned in three groups: A, control; B, phototherapy with red laser (InGaAlP, 660nm, 100J/cm2, 100mW, spot size 0,028 cm2); C, phototherapy with infrared laser (AsGaAl, 808nm, 100J/cm2, 100mW, spot size 0,028 cm2). The patients will receive treatment for two weeks while waiting for the splint prosthetic confection, the phototherapy will be leaded twice a week (there will be four sessions without the splint). After the beginning of the occlusal splint therapy, the patients should undergo twice a week sessions of occlusal splint adjustment and phototherapy (there will be six sessions of phototherapy during the occlusal splint therapy). Patients of the control group will undergo the same conditions, but the laser irradiation will be lead with no power output. The experimental data will be collected by the RDC/TMD test in 5 different times: initial, before occlusal splint, after LILP, seven and thirty days after LILP. This project will be leaded double-blinded.
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