Electronic dental anesthesia helps allay needle injection pain

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 journal American 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 fo

Contact: Stephen Wilson
Ohio State University

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