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Efficacy of eutectic topical anesthesia in stainless steel crown procedures for primary molars: A randomized controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Prior literature highlights the importance of local anesthesia (LA) for stainless steel crown (SSC) preparation and placement. Nevertheless, the effectiveness of a eutectic mixture of local anesthesia (EMLA), a topical anesthesia, for this purpose remains unexplored.

AIM: The study evaluated the effectiveness of two EMLA application methods during SSC preparation and placement.

DESIGN: Eighty-four children between 4 and 8 years of age were randomly allocated to three intervention groups. Group A received EMLA applied supragingivally, Group B received a gingival retraction cord impregnated with EMLA (GRC_EMLA), and Group C (control) received LA. Pain was recorded using Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale (WBFPS) and Children Hospital Eastern Ontario Pain Scale (CHEOPS) at three time intervals.

RESULTS: Control had highest mean pain scores at the first time interval in both maxillary and mandibular arches, followed by Group B and Group A, with statistically significant p-values (p = .00, p < .05). After preparation and placement, all three groups had low mean pain scores, with no statistically significant differences. Group A had minimal pain scores at all three time intervals, although not statistically significant.

CONCLUSION: EMLA is a potent topical anesthetic and can be used as an alternative to LA for conventional SSC preparation and placement in primary molars.

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