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.

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 July 31, 2014 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 July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

House Republicans Vote to Sue Obama Over Healthcare Law

Reuters - US Online Video (July 31, 2014) The Republican-led House of Representatives votes to sue President Obama, accusing him of overstepping his executive authority in making changes to the Affordable Care Act. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Despite Health Questions, E-Cigs Are Beneficial: Study

Newsy (July 31, 2014) Citing 81 previous studies, new research out of London suggests the benefits of smoking e-cigarettes instead of regular ones outweighs the risks. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

Dangerous Bacteria Kills One in Florida

AP (July 31, 2014) Sarasota County, Florida health officials have issued a warning against eating raw oysters and exposing open wounds to coastal and inland waters after a dangerous bacteria killed one person and made another sick. (July 31) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Health Insurers' Profits Slide

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Obamacare-related costs were said to be behind the profit plunge at Wellpoint and Humana, but Wellpoint sees the new exchanges boosting its earnings for the full year. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
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:
from the past week

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