This prospective randomized clinical study assessed the efficacy of pain control for postextraction alveolar osteitis comparing the use of eugenol on a gauze strip versus a thermosetting gel containing 2.5% prilocaine and 2.5% lidocaine.
Patients and Methods
Thirty-five patients who presented with postextraction alveolar osteitis were randomly assigned to either a control group or test group. After irrigation of the extraction site with normal saline solution, the control patients were treated with eugenol on a gauze strip placed in the socket and the test patients were treated with the thermosetting gel placed directly into the socket. All patients were given a series of visual analog scales to record their pretreatment pain and post-treatment pain at 5, 10, and 15 minutes and then at 1-hour increments during waking hours for the next 48 hours. They were also given a prescription for an analgesic to use for breakthrough pain during the 48-hour period, if necessary, and instructed to record the dose and timing of any pain medication taken. All patients were seen for follow-up at 48 hours after treatment.
The mean pretreatment pain score was 6.72 on a scale ranging from 1 to 10 for the eugenol group and 6.37 for the prilocaine-lidocaine group (SE, 0.46), and the 2 groups were not different (P = .62). In the immediate post-treatment period (0-15 minutes) the pain levels were significantly reduced in both groups (Ps < .001). However, the thermosetting gel produced a significantly greater reduction in pain (mean, 3.23; SE, 0.62) than the eugenol (mean, 4.83; SE, 0.43) (P = .022). Over the next 48 hours, the pain level was nominally less with the thermosetting gel, but this difference was not statistically significant (Ps = .2).
Although the efficacy of the 2 treatments was not significantly different, the nominal superiority and ease of using the thermosetting gel warrant further investigation.
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