Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Electronic Dental Anesthesia Helps Allay Needle Injection Pain

Date:
September 1, 1999
Source:
Ohio State University
Summary:
Using electronic anesthesia reduces discomfort and disruptive behaviors in young, sedated dental patients, new research shows.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Using electronic anesthesia reduces discomfort and disruptive behaviors in young, sedated dental patients, new research shows.

Related Articles


Researchers used electronic dental anesthesia (EDA) to numb the gums of 15 children aged 2 to 4 during the injection of a local anesthetic. EDA was administered after each child had received sedatives to calm him or her. During the injection, EDA significantly reduced moving and crying and also minimized usual heart rate and blood pressure changes associated with injections, compared to a control group of 15 children whom did not receive EDA.

"An injection can evoke a very strong physiologic and emotional response, even in a sedated child," said Stephen Wilson, co-author of the study and a professor of pediatric dentistry at Ohio State University. "EDA was somewhat effective in helping children cope with an injection."

The research appeared in a recent issue of the journalAmerican Academy of Pediatric Dentistry.

The EDA is a battery-operated device that sends electrical impulses through a finger pad that the dentist holds against the tissue surrounding the tooth. The EDA -- which produces a pulsating, tingling sensation -- numbs the tissue or distracts the patient so the discomfort of the injection is partially masked.

While EDA is popular among some dentists for adults, Wilson said, it hasn't received widespread use in pediatric dental care. EDA has traditionally been used in periodontal research, and periodontal problems are more common in adults than children. Also, the EDA finger probe that is placed against the soft tissue is rather large for a child's mouth.

"Children have little lips and mouths, which sometimes makes it difficult to place the electrodes on the gums," Wilson said.

Also, there had never been a study looking at EDA while a patient is under sedation. "Whenever kids are sedated, the one stimulus that really gets them excited is the injection," he said. "It's the injection in the upper front part of the mouth that seems to be the most painful."

The children in this study had what dentists call "baby bottle syndrome" -- cavities, usually on the front teeth, that result from direct exposure to the sweetened liquids a child drinks frequently.

Wilson and his colleagues divided 30 children aged 24 to 48 months into two groups. The researchers turned the EDA device on to treat half of the children, while in the other group, the EDA device was turned off. Each child was given an oral sedative 60 minutes before dental treatment began.

"Very young children are typically sedated because they don't have good coping skills when it comes to dental treatments like having a cavity filled," Wilson said.

Each patient also received the anesthetic nitrous oxide -- also known as laughing gas. The EDA finger pad was placed on the gums five minutes later. A dental assistant increased the current every 20 seconds for a minimum of two minutes before Xylocaine, a local anesthetic, was injected into the gum. The EDA finger pad was removed once the Xylocaine was administered.

"The EDA was no longer needed once the local anesthetic was administered," Wilson said.

The researchers videotaped each child during the procedure to assess four behaviors: quiet; crying; movement; and struggling with crying. They found that the children receiving the activated EDA cried and moved less frequently than those who didn't receive it.

The researchers also compared the physiologic changes of each group. The heart rates and blood pressures of the children not receiving EDA treatment increased with the injection of Xylocaine by an average of 8 percent and 10 percent, respectively. The heart rates and blood pressures of the children receiving the EDA decreased by 2 percent and 3 percent respectively.

"Some children were not aroused to the extent that crying and struggling dominated their behavior during the procedure," Wilson said. "But even when a person is lightly sleeping, the body knows when pain is present. We would still see a rise in heart rate during a painful stimulus."

"While the changes in both blood pressure and heart rates were not outside the normal limits for children with or without the presence of EDA, the degree of discomfort seemed to be more controlled with EDA," Wilson said. "Administering a local anesthetic alone can increase the heart rate by as much as 40 or 50 beats per minute in children."

The 3M company donated the EDA device.

Wilson co-authored the study with Luz de Lourdes Molina, a dentist in Reno, Nev.; James Preisch, an assistant clinical professor of pediatric dentistry at Ohio State; and Joel Weaver, an associate professor of dentistry at Ohio State.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Ohio State University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Ohio State University. "Electronic Dental Anesthesia Helps Allay Needle Injection Pain." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 September 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901080326.htm>.
Ohio State University. (1999, September 1). Electronic Dental Anesthesia Helps Allay Needle Injection Pain. ScienceDaily. Retrieved March 4, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901080326.htm
Ohio State University. "Electronic Dental Anesthesia Helps Allay Needle Injection Pain." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/09/990901080326.htm (accessed March 4, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Adults Only Get The Flu Twice A Decade, Researchers Say

Newsy (Mar. 4, 2015) Researchers found adults only get the flu about once every five years. Scientists analyzed how a person&apos;s immunity builds up over time as well. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Mount Everest Has a Poop Problem

Buzz60 (Mar. 4, 2015) With no bathrooms to use, climbers of Mount Everest have been leaving human waste on the mountain for years, and it&apos;s becoming a health issue. Mike Janela (@mikejanela) has more. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

Mom Triumphs Over Tragedy, Helps Other Families

AP (Mar. 3, 2015) After her son, Dax, died from a rare form of leukemia, Julie Locke decided to give back to the doctors at St. Jude Children&apos;s Research Hospital who tried to save his life. She raised $1.6M to help other patients and their families. (March 3) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

Looted and Leaking, South Sudan's Oil Wells Pose Health Risk

AFP (Mar. 3, 2015) Thick black puddles and a looted, leaking ruin are all that remain of the Thar Jath oil treatment facility, once a crucial part of South Sudan&apos;s mainstay industry. Duration: 01:13 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins