Effectiveness of benzocaine in reducing deep cavity restoration and post-extraction stress in dental patients

Khalid H. Al-Samadani, Giath Gazal


Objectives: To investigate the effectiveness of topical anesthetic, 20% benzocaine in relieving pain and stress in patients following deep cavity restoration and extraction of teeth under local anesthesia (LA).

Methods: A prospective clinical trial was conducted from October 2014 until April 2015 at Taibah University, Al Madinah Al Munawarah, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Forty-five patients were included in the 20% benzocaine group, and 46 in the normal saline group. Evaluation of the dental stress was made pre-operatively and immediately post-operative treatment using the visual analogue scale (VAS). Furthermore, discomfort of the injections were recorded by the patients after each treatment on standard 100 mm VAS, tagged at the endpoints with “no pain” (0 mm) and “unbearable pain” (100 mm).

Results: There were statistically significant differences between the mean stress scores for patients in the benzocaine and normal saline groups post-operatively (p=0.002). There were significant differences between the mean pain scores for patients in the post buccal injection (p=0.001), post palatal injection (p=0.01), and the post inferior alveolar nerve block groups (p=0.02). Buccal, palatal, and inferior alveolar nerve block injections were more painful for patients in the normal saline group than the benzocaine group. 

Conclusion: This investigation has demonstrated that post-operative stress associated with deep cavity restoration and dental extractions under LA can be reduced by the application of topical anesthetic (20% benzocaine) at the operative site for intra-oral injections.


Saudi Med J 2015; Vol. 36 (11): 1342-1347

doi: 10.15537/smj.2015.11.12274

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