A local anesthetic-impregnated mucosal adhesive patch (DentiPatch) was compared with topical anesthetic (Hurricaine Dry Handle Swab) for gingival anesthesia before rubber dam clamp placement in children. Twenty-eight children needing sealants on their posterior teeth were enrolled in this study. Topical anesthesia was provided using either the mucoadhesive patch (20% lidocaine) or topical anesthetic (20% benzocaine). Subjects were randomized using a split mouth model. Either the patch or topical anesthetic was applied to the gingiva for 5 minutes or 1 minute, respectively. Subjects used a visual analog scale to describe their pain during the procedure. Linear regression and mixed linear models were used for data analysis. The visual analog scale results (pain scores) showed no significant difference between treatments. The mean per-child patch-sticking fraction was 29.7%. Patch adherence to oral mucosa increased with age in girls (P = .0045), but not in boys. The DentiPatch is as effective as, although not superior to, the Hurricaine Dry Handle Swab for gingival anesthesia before rubber dam clamp placement in children. These study results would not support the use of the DentiPatch for gingival anesthesia in children because of poor adherence to oral mucosa and the extra time necessary to apply and retain the device.
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