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Effect of Buffered 4% Lidocaine on the Success of the Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block in Patients with Symptomatic Irreversible Pulpitis: A Prospective, Randomized, Double-blind Study

Published:April 01, 2015DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.joen.2015.02.022

      Abstract

      Introduction

      Medical studies have suggested that buffering local anesthetic may increase the ability to achieve anesthesia. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of 4% buffered lidocaine on the anesthetic success of the inferior alveolar nerve (IAN) block in patients experiencing symptomatic irreversible pulpitis.

      Methods

      One hundred emergency patients diagnosed with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis of a mandibular posterior tooth randomly received a conventional IAN block using either 2.8 mL 4% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine or 2.8 mL 4% lidocaine with 1:100,000 epinephrine buffered with sodium bicarbonate in a double-blind manner. For the buffered solution, each cartridge was buffered with 8.4% sodium bicarbonate using the OnPharma (Los Gatos, CA) system to produce a final concentration of 0.18 mEq/mL sodium bicarbonate. Fifteen minutes after administration of the IAN block, profound lip numbness was confirmed, and endodontic access was initiated. Success was defined as no or mild pain (≤54 mm on a 170-mm visual analog scale) on access or instrumentation of the root canal.

      Results

      The success rate for the IAN block was 32% for the buffered group and 40% for the nonbuffered group, with no significant difference (P = .4047) between the groups. Injection pain ratings for the IAN block were not significantly (P = .9080) different between the 2 formulations.

      Conclusions

      For mandibular posterior teeth, a 4% buffered lidocaine formulation did not result in a statistically significant increase in the success rate or a decrease in injection pain of the IAN block in patients with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis.

      Key Words

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