Comparison of the effect of video glasses and nitrous oxide analgesia on the perceived intensity of pain and unpleasantness evoked by dental scaling

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Abstract

The aim of this study was to evaluate whether distraction induced by video glasses had an effect on the perceived intensity of pain and unpleasantness during dental scaling compared with the effect of nitrous oxide (N2O) analgesia. The pain stimulus was dental scaling (removal of dental calculus) with an ultrasonic scaler. As a standardised, non-dental painful stimulus, Von Frey filaments were used. A total of 26 patients with superficial chronic periodontitis were enrolled in this randomised, controlled clinical study. The effect of video glasses was compared with N2O in one session and the effect of video glasses versus a control situation in another. The patients rated the intensity of pain and unpleasantness evoked by dental scaling and Von Frey filament stimulation on 100-mm visual analogue scales (VAS). For dental scaling, there was no effect of video glasses on the perceived pain (p = 0.85) or unpleasantness (p = 0.73) nor of N2O (p = 0.69 and p = 0.51, respectively) compared with the control situation. Similarly, no significant difference was found between VAS scores in the video glasses and N2O session (p = 0.48, p = 0.58). A significant effect of video glasses and N2O (p < 0.008) was found on the perceived pain intensity produced by Von Frey filament stimulation compared with the control situation, but no significant difference was seen between these methods (p = 0.07). Post-treatment interviews of the patients revealed that 81% of the patients in the video and 65% in the N2O session stated that the method had some beneficial effect on their overall experience of the treatment situation. In conclusion, administration of video glasses or N2O did not affect the perceived intensity of pain and unpleasantness evoked by dental scaling. © 2002 European Federation of Chapters of the International Association for the Study of Pain. Published by Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.

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Bentsen, B., Wenzel, A., & Svensson, P. (2003). Comparison of the effect of video glasses and nitrous oxide analgesia on the perceived intensity of pain and unpleasantness evoked by dental scaling. European Journal of Pain, 7(1), 49–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1090-3801(02)00051-4

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