Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Pediatric Dentistry

First Advisor

Dr. Tegwyn Brickhouse


Purpose: The purpose of this study is to determine the impact that the introduction of articaine has had on local anesthetic selection by general and pediatric dentists for use in three different age groups of children.Methods: Using a cross sectional survey design, a questionnaire regarding the use of local anesthetics in children was mailed to a random sample of 500 general dentists from North Carolina, 500 general dentists from Virginia, and all 230 pediatric dentists from North Carolina and Virginia. The 16-item questionnaire included questions regarding the preferred local anesthetic to use in three different age groups, 2-3 years of age, 4-6 years of age, and 7-10 years of age. Furthermore, the questionnaire also included questions specifically on articaine use in the three different age groups and any related side effects. The association between dental practitioner type and anesthetic use was tested using chi-square or Fisher's exact test.Results: A sample of 337 dentists completed the questionnaire. There was no significant difference in preference of articaine except in older patients aged 7-10 years old where general dentists prefer articaine significantly more than do pediatric dentists (28.1% versus 15.9%). Lidocaine with epinephrine was the local anesthetic that was most preferred in all age groups by all practitioners. Pediatric dentists preferred lidocaine more often than general dentists and general dentists preferred lidocaine without epinephrine more often than pediatric dentists. Twenty-one percent of all dentists surveyed have used articaine in children under 4 years of age and 13% list articaine as the preferred local anesthetic for children under 4 years of age.Conclusion: While lidocaine with epinephrine is still the preferred local anesthetic for use in children, the use of articaine in children is very prevalent among general and pediatric dentists. Articaine use becomes more prevalent as the age of the patient increases and many pediatric and general dentists are using articaine in children under four years of age.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

June 2008