Objectives:

To evaluate the efficacy of a new light-cured anesthetic gel for pain control in adults undergoing rubber dam isolation for the restorative treatment of noncarious cervical lesions (NCCLs).

Methods and Materials:

This study was a randomized, split-mouth, triple-blind, controlled trial. The sample comprised 50 adults with at least one pair of NCCLs located in the same arch but on opposite sides. Simple randomization defined the tooth to receive the light-cured tetracaine-based anesthetic gel or the placebo gel. After cotton roll isolation, the gels were applied in the gingival tissue around the tooth with the aid of the applicator tip of a syringe, left in place for 15 seconds, and light-cured for 15 seconds. Then, a #212 clamp was positioned on the tooth. If the patient reported pain, the clamp was removed, the patient filled out a pain intensity form (a 0-10 visual analog scale [VAS] and a 0-4 verbal rating scale [VRS]) and an injectable anesthetic was applied before rubber dam isolation for the restorative procedure. The absolute risk, intensity of pain, and need for rescue anesthesia were analyzed by the McNemar test and the Wilcoxon signed rank test (α=5%).

Results:

The odds ratio [OR] for pain (OR=3.5; 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.1 to 14.6; p=0.03) showed lower reports of pain for the light-cured anesthetic gel. One in five patients will benefit from placement of the light-cured anesthetic gel. On average, pain intensity was one VAS unit lower in those using the light-cured anesthetic gel than in those using the placebo gel. For the VRS, the pain intensity for the light-cured anesthetic gel was 0.4 units lower than the pain intensity for the placebo gel (95% CI=–0.9 to 0.07). The OR for rescue anesthesia was 2.5 (95% CI=0.7 to 10.9; p=0.18).

Conclusions:

The light-cured, tetracaine-based anesthetic gel reduced the absolute risk of pain by 20% in NCCLs.

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