The aim of this present study was to evaluate the irritative potential of 2 topical anesthetics used in intrapocket anesthesia for periodontal scaling/root planing when applied in subcutaneous tissue of rats. Sixty animals were divided into 4 groups: group 1, saline solution (control); group 2, poloxamer gel (thermosetting vehicle); group 3, lidocaine and prilocaine poloxamer thermosetting gel; group 4: EMLA, a lidocaine and prilocaine dermatological cream. Injections of 2% Evans blue were administrated intravenously into the lateral caudal vein. In order to analyze vascular permeability, the tested substances were injected intradermally. The rats were sacrificed 3, 6, and 9 hours after injection of the substances. The dorsal skin was dissected and removed. The vascular permeability was evaluated by the measurement of area of dye extravasation and the dye was subsequently extracted after immersion in formamide. Statistical analyses were made by ANOVA with Bonferroni's post hoc test and Pearson correlation. The 2 methods to analyze the exudative phase of the inflammatory process showed statistically significant difference among the groups and periods of evaluation (P < .05). Both methods had a significant correlation (P < .0001). Under the tested conditions, the anesthetic agents showed mild initial inflammatory response when implanted in subcutaneous connective tissue.

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