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The aim of the present study was to compare the effects of a topical anesthetic to a placebo on pain perception during administration of local anesthesia in 2 regions of the oral cavity. A split-mouth, double-blind, randomized clinical trial design was used. Thirty-eight subjects, ages 18–50 years, American Society of Anesthesiologists I and II, received 4 anesthetic injections each in regions corresponding to the posterior superior alveolar nerve (PSA) and greater palatine nerve (GPN), totaling 152 sites analyzed. The side of the mouth where the topical anesthetic (benzocaine 20%) or the placebo was to be applied was chosen by a flip of a coin. The needle used was 27G, and the anesthetic used for administration of local anesthesia was 2% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine. After receiving the administration of local anesthesia, each patient reported pain perception on a visual analog scale (VAS) of 100-mm length. The results showed that the topical anesthetic and the placebo had similar effects: there was no statistically significant VAS difference between the PSA and the GPN pain ratings. A higher value on the VAS for the anesthesia of the GPN, relative to the PSA, was observed for both groups. Regarding gender, male patients had higher values on the VAS compared with female patients, but these differences were not meaningful. The topical anesthetic and the placebo had similar effects on pain perception for injection of local anesthesia for the PSA and GPN.

Keywords: Topical anesthetic; Pain; Dental; Randomized clinical trial
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Copyright: © 2015 by the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

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eISSN: 1878-7177

ISSN: 0003-3006

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