External cold, Vibrating device may reduce pain in kids undergoing dental anesthesia
Researchers have recently noted that combined external cold and vibrating devices can be an effective alternative in and fear in children undergoing infiltration dental anesthesia, as published in the International Journal of Dentistry.
The ''gate control'' theory suggests pain can be reduced by simultaneous activation of larger diameter nerve fibers using appropriate coldness, warmth, rubbing, pressure, or vibration.
Hence, Muhanad AlHareky and colleagues from the Department of Preventive Dental Sciences, College of Dentistry, Imam AbdulRahman Bin Faisal University, Dammam, Saudi Arabia conducted this study to investigate the efficacy of a device combining cold and vibration, for needle-related procedural pain in children.
The authors evaluated a total of 51 children aged 5–12 years in this randomized controlled clinical trial. Half of the children were in the control group and received maxillary buccal infiltration, by injecting 1.8 ml of 2% lidocaine with 1 : 100,000 adrenaline using topical anesthesia 20% benzocaine gel for 15 seconds, while the other half were in the test group and received the same anesthesia using a commercially available external cold and a vibrating device.
A face version of Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) was used as a subjective measure to assess the child's pain experience. The parents were requested to evaluate the child's ability to tolerate pain using a behavioral/observational pain scale. Sound, Eyes, and Motor (SEM) scale and Faces, Legs, Activity, Cry, and Consolability (FLACC) scale were used to record the child's pain as perceived by the external evaluator. T-test or Mann–Whitney U-test was used for scale variables, paired sample T-test or Wilcoxon rank t-test was used for before and after data, and chi-square was used for categorical variable, based on the results of normality test.
The researchers observed that the results showed a statistically significant reduction in pain after the injection for the test group compared with control using VAS scale (mean = 6.68 (1.09) and 8.42 (0.50); ) and FLACC scale (mean = 5.92 (1.05) and 8.16 (0.54); ), but not when using SEM scale (mean 3.22 (0.42) and 4.24 (2.74);).
Therefore, combined external cold and vibrating devices can be an effective alternative in reducing experienced pain and fear in children undergoing infiltration dental anesthesia, the authors concluded.