Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

John Unkel

Second Advisor

Tegwyn Brickhouse


Purpose: The purpose of this pilot study was to determine if there is a difference in post-operative pain experience for children following dental restorations and/or extractions under general anesthesia (GA), with and without local anesthetic (LA). The alternative hypothesis is that children will experience less post-operative discomfort and soft tissue trauma when using intra-ligamental local anesthetic during the intra-operative time period. Methods: Patients were recruited for this single blind, randomized, prospective cohort study with the following inclusion criteria, children age 2-6 years requiring general anesthesia for dental treatment. Patients were randomized into categories of either receiving a standardized local anesthetic or no local anesthetic for the dental procedure. A Wong-Baker Faces Pain Scale (Figure 1) was utilized to evaluate pre-operative and post-operative pain. Data were compared using a pooled t-test and two way mixed model ANOVA controlling for sex, ethnicity, and intra-op meds given. Results: Currently, 33 patients have been enrolled in the study. No difference was found in the LA versus the no LA groups, and significantly more pain was reported in the extraction versus non-extraction groups. With the limited sample size, current trends indicate that pain scores do depend on whether or not treatment included the extraction of a tooth. Conclusion: When adequately powered (n=100), this study could assist clinicians providing dental surgeries under general anesthesia care by providing evidence based criteria for the provision of local anesthetic during general anesthesia to reduce need for intra-operative pain medication to relieve post-operative pain.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2011

Included in

Dentistry Commons