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Anesth Prog. 2009 Autumn;56(3):81-5. doi: 10.2344/0003-3006-56.3.81.

Comparative efficacy of 2 topical anesthetics for the placement of orthodontic temporary anchorage devices.

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  • 1Department of Restorative Dentistry & Biomaterials, University of Texas Dental Branch, Houston, TX 77030, USA.


This study compared the effectiveness of topical benzocaine 20% versus a combination of lidocaine, tetracaine, and phenylephrine in providing sufficient analgesia for the placement of orthodontic temporary anchorage devices (TADs). The 2 topical anesthetics were tested against each other bilaterally using a randomized, double-blind, crossover design. The agents were left in place for the amount of time prescribed by the manufacturer. The TAD was then placed, and each subject rated the degree of pain on a Heft-Parker visual analogue scale. A pulse oximeter was used to record the preoperative and postoperative pulse rates. Statistically significant differences in perceived pain (P < .05) and success rate (P < .01) between drugs were seen, but no significant difference in pulse rate change between the topical anesthetics was observed (P > .05). It was concluded that when the efficacy of topical benzocaine and of a combination product was compared as the sole anesthetic to facilitate acceptable pain control for placement of orthodontic temporary anchorage devices, the combination product was considerably more efficacious.

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