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J Conserv Dent. 2019 Jan-Feb;22(1):54-58. doi: 10.4103/JCD.JCD_135_18.

Effect of pretreatment medication on postendodontic pain: A double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

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Department of Conservative Dentistry and Endodontics, GITAM Dental College and Hospital, Visakhapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.



Posttreatment endodontic pain has been reported in 25%-40% of all endodontic patients. Effective management of endodontic pain represents a continuing challenge.


To evaluate and compare the efficacy of preoperative single dose of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug, piroxicam (20 mg), with two types of corticosteroid drugs - dexamethasone (4 mg) or deflazacort (30 mg) - for the prevention and control of postendodontic pain.

Materials and Methods:

A total of 132 volunteers selected for nonsurgical root canal therapy were randomly divided into the following four groups (n = 30 each) according to preoperative medication given: Group 1, piroxicam (20 mg); Group 2, dexamethasone (4 mg); Group 3, deflazacort (30 mg); and Group 4, placebo. The preoperative medications were administrated 1 h before the start of standard endodontic treatment. Patients were instructed to complete a pain diary using Visual Analog Scale preoperatively and at 6-, 12-, 24-, 48-, and 72-h intervals after root canal instrumentation.

Statistical Analysis:

The correlation between preoperative endodontic pain to postoperative pain and pair-wise comparison of four groups was evaluated by Kruskal-Wallis analysis of variance test followed by Mann-Whitney U-test.


Compared to the placebo group, piroxicam, dexamethasone, and deflazacort resulted in a statistically significant reduction in postendodontic pain at 6, 12, and 24 h (P < 0.05).


Preoperative single oral dose of piroxicam or dexamethasone or deflazacort is equally effective in controlling postendodontic pain.


Dexamethasone; Visual Analog Scale; piroxicam; placebo; root canal treatment

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