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Trojan Today: “Illuminating Dentistry: The Power of Photobiomodulation and Red LED Lights in the Dental Office” by Debbie Seidel Bittke

Debbie Seidel Bittke | Illuminating Dentistry: The Power of Photobiomodulation and Red LED Lights in the Dental Office

Photobiomodulation (PBM) and Red LED light therapy revolutionize dental care, providing dental professionals with advanced tools to enhance treatment outcomes. This comprehensive guide will explore the science behind PBM, the benefits of Red LED light therapy, and their integration into dental practices.1

Additionally, we will delve into the dual-purpose applications of Red LED lights in teeth whitening, offering patients a convenient at-home option.

Understanding Photobiomodulation (PBM)

Photobiomodulation, also known as low-level laser therapy (LLLT) utilizes low-level light to stimulate cellular function. Rooted in photochemical processes, PBM has gained prominence in various medical fields, including dentistry.2

Mechanisms of Action

PBM enhances cellular function by absorbing light energy. When tissues are exposed to low-level light, particularly in the red and near-infrared spectrum, a cascade of cellular responses are triggered. Mitochondria, the powerhouse of cells, absorb this light energy, leading to increased ATP production. This boost promotes improved metabolism, enhanced circulation, and increased production of anti-inflammatory mediators.

Applications in Dentistry

Dental professionals can leverage PBM for a range of applications. Notably, it has shown efficacy in managing oral mucositis, a common side effect of cancer treatments. PBM reduces inflammation, accelerates tissue repair, and alleviates pain associated with oral mucositis.

Imagine your patients have a take-home Red LED light, and if they feel a canker sore coming on or get a pizza burn, the Red light device will halt the progression of pain or an unsightly sore.

But that’s not all this mouthpiece can do! Keep reading to learn more about the dual-purpose LED light.

Red LED Light Therapy in Dentistry

Red LED light therapy is particularly significant for dental professionals within the spectrum of PBM. Red light, ranging from 620 to 750 nanometers, possesses unique properties suitable for various dental applications.

Photonic Energy Penetration

Red LED light efficiently penetrates oral tissues, stimulating cellular activity within the periodontal ligament, bone, and surrounding soft tissues. This depth of penetration is crucial for addressing diverse dental concerns.

Anti-Inflammatory Effects

Inflammation is prevalent in dental conditions, from periodontal disease to postoperative swelling. Red LED light therapy demonstrates anti-inflammatory effects, mitigating inflammation and promoting faster healing. Dental professionals can enhance postoperative recovery and manage chronic inflammatory conditions.

Wound Healing and Tissue Repair

Wound healing is paramount in dental care, especially after surgical procedures. Red LED light therapy accelerates tissue repair by stimulating fibroblast activity, collagen synthesis, and angiogenesis. This makes it valuable for surgical procedures, implant placement, scaling and root planing, and other procedures requiring optimal tissue healing.

Integrating Red LED Light Therapy into Dental Practice

Dental professionals aiming to incorporate Red LED light therapy into their practice should follow these steps:

Education and Training

Undergo proper education and training to understand Red LED light therapy’s scientific principles, safety considerations, and practical applications.

Treatment Protocols

Develop standardized treatment protocols based on specific dental conditions. Establish guidelines for applying Red LED light therapy to ensure consistent and predictable outcomes.

Patient Communication

Communicate transparently with patients when introducing new treatment modalities. Educate them on the benefits of Red LED light therapy and address any questions or concerns they may have.

Integration with Existing Protocols

Seamlessly integrate Red LED light therapy into existing dental protocols. Explore its applications in pre- and post-operative care, periodontal maintenance, and orthodontic treatment.

Research and Continuous Improvement

Stay informed about the latest research findings and technological advancements in Red LED light therapy. Engage in continuing education to refine skills and enhance the quality of care provided.

Expanding Applications: Dual Purpose LED Lights used when Whitening Teeth

Red LED lights extend their versatility to cosmetic dentistry, specifically in teeth whitening. This dual-purpose approach benefits both dental professionals and patients.

Teeth Whitening LED Lights: A Convenient At-Home Option

Traditionally, in-office teeth whitening involved patients sitting under Blue LED lights. Red LED lights, however, have proven equally effective for teeth-whitening applications. Dental professionals can offer patients at-home whitening kits, including Red LED lights, providing flexibility and availability.

Advantages of At-Home Teeth Whitening with Red LED Lights

Convenience for Patients: At-home whitening kits offer flexibility, eliminating the need for extended in-office visits and no more impressions or whitening tray fabrication.

Comfortable Treatment Environment: Patients can whiten their teeth at home, avoiding potential discomfort associated with in-office procedures.

Imagine an office payment membership with whitening discounts and free whitening pens when your patient keeps their dental appointments. This rewards preventive care and makes oral health a priority.

Optimized Treatment Rooms: Dual-purpose use of Red LED lights optimizes treatment rooms, maximizing efficiency in the dental practice.

Having a patient sit in a dental chair to whiten their teeth for one to two hours ends up being a lost leader. The doctor’s treatment room should yield a production average of approximately $600 per hour.

How Red LED Lights Enhance Teeth Whitening

Red LED lights combined with Blue LED lights for whitening teeth reduce any chance of tooth or gum sensitivity while the patient is whitening their teeth.

Integration Strategies for Dental Professionals

Patient Education: Clearly communicate the benefits of at-home teeth whitening with Red LED lights, emphasizing convenience and comfort. Explain to patients how the Red LED lights can be used for dental treatment and post-op care, halting the ugly canker sores, and calming pizza burns.

Customized Whitening Kits: Develop kits including Red LED lights for a comprehensive solution for effective at-home teeth whitening.

Treatment Protocols: Establish clear treatment protocols for at-home teeth whitening with Red LED lights, providing detailed instructions for safe and successful outcomes.

Teeth whitening with the take-home LED mouthpiece saves time. It is very simple to complete a smile evaluation and show patients the whitening kit when they are interested in cosmetic services and whiter teeth.

It’s a simple conversation that happens seamlessly during hygiene appointments.

Everyone on the team should be trained to explain how the take-home whitening works and the benefits of using this to have a whiter-brighter smile. Implement follow-up procedures to monitor progress, addressing concerns or queries from patients.


Photobiomodulation and Red LED light therapy represent cutting-edge tools for dental care. Understanding their mechanisms, applications, and integration strategies empowers dental professionals to harness their full potential. As dental technology expands in our profession, embracing innovative therapies like Red LED light therapy positions your dental practice at the forefront of patient-centric, evidence-based care.

The dual-purpose use of Red LED lights in therapeutic and cosmetic treatments underscores its role as a valuable tool for comprehensive dental care.


  1. de Abreu Chaves, Maria Emilia, Angelica Rodrigues de Araujo, Andre Cost Cruz Piancastelli, and Marcos Pinotti. “Effects of Low-power Light Therapy on Wound Healing: LASER x LED.” An Bras Dermatol 2014 Jul-Aug 89(4): 616–623.
  2. Hamblin, Michale R., Ph.D. “Photobiomodulation or Low-level Laser Therapy.” J BioPhotonics 2016 Dec: 9(11-12): 1122-1124 

Debbie | Trojan Today

Debbie Seidel Bittke, RDH BS, is founder of Dental Practice Solutions. She is a distinguished dental hygienist, hygiene department coach. Debbie is a trusted advisor to dental professionals providing valuable insights and strategies to optimize practice growth and practice care; specifically focusing on the dental hygiene department.

For more information about Red LED lights in the office and take-home whitening systems, Debbie can be reached at, or schedule a call.



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