Effective pain control during local anesthetic injection is the cornerstone of behavior guidance in pediatric dentistry. The aim of this study was to evaluate the practical efficacy of a 2-stage injection technique in reducing injection pain in children. This was a split-mouth, randomized controlled crossover trial. One hundred cooperative children aged 7 to 13 years in need of bilateral local anesthetic injections (inferior alveolar nerve block, posterior superior alveolar nerve block, or maxillary and mandibular buccal infiltrations) for restorative, endodontic, and extraction treatments were recruited for the study. Children were randomly allocated to receive either the 2-stage injection technique or conventional technique at the first appointment. The other technique was used at the successive visit after 1 week. Subjective and objective evaluation of pain was done using the Wong–Baker FACES Pain Rating Scale (FPS) and Sound Eye Motor (SEM) scale, respectively. The comparison of pain scores was done by Wilcoxon sign-rank test. Both FPS and SEM scores were significantly lower when the 2-stage injection technique of local anesthetic nerve block/infiltration was used compared with the conventional technique. The 2-stage injection technique is a simple and effective means of reducing injection pain in children.

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