Reducing pain from palatal needle stick by topical anesthetics: a comparative study between two lidocaine/prilocaine substances

Manal Abu Al-Melh, Lars Andersson
Journal of Clinical Dentistry 2008, 19 (2): 43-7

OBJECTIVE: The aims of this study were to compare the topical anesthetic effect of two different preparations of lidocaine/prilocaine, cream versus thermosetting gel, on the reduction of pain from needle stick in the palate. The study also compared the subjects' preferences with regard to the substances.

METHODS: Two preparations of 2.5% lidocaine/2.5% prilocaine topical anesthetic agents were applied on the palatal mucosa in the canine region bilaterally and blindly to forty subjects. In the same visit, the cream (EMLA) was applied on one side and the thermosetting gel (Oraqix) on the other side, simultaneously. After that, a needle stick was given on each side using a 27-gauge needle inserted to bone contact through the palatal mucosa every second minute during a ten-minute period. Immediately after the needle stick, the subjects started recording their findings using a verbal scale, a visual analogue scale, and a questionnaire form. Significant differences were set at p < 0.05.

RESULTS: Both substances reduced or eliminated pain from needle stick in the palate. Significant differences in pain reduction were observed between the two substances. EMLA reduced pain significantly better than Oraqix. With regard to comfort, taste, anesthetic effect, personal preference, and recommendation, the majority of the subjects favored the EMLA cream to the thermosetting gel. No adverse effects were reported by the subjects.

CONCLUSION: Although both topical anesthetic agents are similar in content, the cream seemed to be preferred by the patients and reduced pain from needle stick in the palate significantly better than the thermosetting gel.

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