Effects of a vibratory device on pain from anesthetic injections

Michael G DiFelice, Kraig S Vandewalle, Steven C Maller, Raymond H Hancock
Compendium of Continuing Education in Dentistry 2014, 35 (4): 246, 248, 250-1 passim

BACKGROUND: A randomized block, split-mouth design was used to determine the effectiveness of a vibratory device with topical anesthetic compared to topical anesthetic only in reducing the pain experienced during an inferior alveolar nerve block.

METHODS: Twenty participants each received two inferior alveolar injections with a 5-minute interval between injections, one with topical anesthetic and one with topical anesthetic and a vibratory device. Each injection included a 2-minute application of topical anesthetic gel at the injection site. Local anesthetic was administered bilaterally using a 27-gauge needle with or without the vibratory device. Participants rated the pain they experienced after each injection by using a visual analog scale (VAS). A mean VAS score and standard deviation was determined per group. Data was analyzed with a paired t test (α = 0.05).

RESULTS: The group receiving the vibratory device with topical anesthetic had a mean VAS score of 21.2 mm ± 18.6 mm, and the group receiving the topical anesthetic alone had a VAS score of 38.7 mm ± 23.3 mm.

CONCLUSION: The use of the vibratory device and topical anesthetic significantly reduced the pain experienced during the administration of a local anesthetic injection compared with the use of topical anesthetic alone (P = 0.006).

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