Efficacy of intraoral topical anesthetics in children

Ekaterini Paschos, K C Huth, C Benz, A Reeka-Bardschmidt, R Hickel
Journal of Dentistry 2006, 34 (6): 398-404

OBJECTIVES: The literature reports mixed results regarding the efficacy of intraoral topical anesthetics. Only a few studies have been performed in children. Some non-placebo controlled studies have been carried out to compare the efficacy in reducing children's injection pain between different topical anesthetics

METHODS: In a randomized, double blind, placebo controlled study with split-mouth design 104 children were enrolled to evaluate the efficacy of four topical anesthetics (Gingicain Spray, Gingicaine Topical Anesthetic, Legecain-Solution, EMLA Crème) when used prior to buccal injections within the conservative treatment of carious upper primary molars. The heart rate change and a Face Pain Scale were used as primary variables. The Visual Analog Scale, the modified Children's Hospital Pain Scale and the Sound-Eyes-Motor Scale were also evaluated.

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the placebo and any corresponding topical anesthetic with regard to the primary variables (HRC and FPS). A significant difference was found in favour of Gingicain Spray and Gingicaine Topical Anesthetic according to secondary variables (VAS, S(E)MS).

CONCLUSION: While the secondary variables point to a benefit of the topical anesthetics Gingicain Spray and Gingicaine Topical Anesthetic compared to placebo, the results of the primary variables showed no differences in effectiveness of topical anesthetics and their corresponding placebos.

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