J Dent Anesth Pain Med.  2020 Feb;20(1):29-37. 10.17245/jdapm.2020.20.1.29.

Comparative efficacy of three topical anesthetics on 7-11-year-old children: a randomized clinical study

  • 1Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Priyadarshini Dental College & Hospital, Pandur, Thirivallur, Tamilnadu, India.
  • 2Department of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry, Narayana Dental College & Hospital, Nellore, India. nimskrishna2007@gmail.com


This study evaluated the efficacy of three intraoral topical anesthetics in reducing the injection needle prick pain from local anesthetic among children aged 7-11 years old.
It is a prospective, Interventional, parallel design, single-blind, randomized clinical trial in which subjects (n=90) aged 7-11 years were included in the study based on an inclusion criteria. Subjects were divided into three groups based on computer-generated randomization with an allocation ratio of 1:1:1. Groups A, B, and C received benzocaine 20% jelly (Mucopain gel, ICPA health products Ltd, Ankleshwar, India), cetacaine anesthetic liquid (Cetylite Industries, Inc, Pennsauken, NJ), and EMLA cream (2% AstraZeneca UK Ltd, Luton, UK), respectively, according to manufacturer's instructions, for 1 minute prior to local anesthetic injection. After application of topical anesthetic agent, for all the groups, baseline pre-operative (prior to topical anesthetic administration) and post-operative scores (after local anesthetic administration) of pulse rate was recorded using Pulse oximeter (Gibson, Fingertip Pulse Oximeter, MD300C29, Beijing Choice Electronic). Peri-operative (i.e., during the administration of local anesthesia) scores were recorded using Face, Legs, Activity, Cry, Consolability (FLACC) Scale, Modified Children hospital of Eastern Ontario Pain Scale (CPS) behavior rating scale, and Faces Pain Scale (FPS-R) - Revised (For self-reported pain). Direct self-reported and physiological measures were ascertained using FPS-R - Revised and Pulse oximeter, respectively, whereas CPS and FLACC scales assessed behavioral measures. To test the mean difference between the three groups, a one way ANOVA with post hoc tests was used. For statistical significance, a two-tailed probability value of P < 0.05 was considered as significant.
The Cetacaine group had significantly lower pain scores for self-report (P < 0.001), behavioral, and physiological measures (P < 0.001) than the other two groups. However, there was no significant difference between the Benzocaine group and EMLA group during palatal injection prick.
Cetacaine can be considered as an effective topical anesthetic agent compared to benzocaine 20% jelly (Mucopain gel) and EMLA cream.


Cetacaine; Children; Injections; Palate; Topical Anesthesia

MeSH Terms

Behavior Rating Scale
Clinical Study*
Heart Rate
Prospective Studies
Random Allocation
Weights and Measures


  • Fig. 1 Mean values of physiological measures of Group A, B, and C.

  • Fig. 2 Mean values of FPS-R Scores of Group A, B, and C

  • Fig. 3 Mean values of FLACC and CPS Scores of Group A, B, and C


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