Acupuncture on Hegu LI4 acts as a effective local anesthesia in children

Background: Pain is a multidimensional construct that involves sensory, emotional, and cognitive processes. It is an essential component of child behavior guidance. The injection of a local anesthetic agent during pediatric dental treatment is one of the most painful and distressing procedures performed, stimulation of acupoint LI4 provides an analgesic effect in the orofacial region, thus decreasing the pain during injection.

Aims and objectives: To compare and evaluate the effect of low-level laser on Hegu LI4 acupoint and surface-acting 20% benzocaine gel during local anesthesia.

Materials and methods: Children of age-group between 5 years and 9 years receiving bilateral local anesthesia were scheduled for dental treatment. Split-mouth cross-over study was planned and was divided into two groups, receiving low-level laser acupuncture on Hegu LI4 acupoint with placebo as a moist cotton swab in the first visit and 20% benzocaine gel with placebo as low-level laser acupuncture off mode in second visit and vice versa.

Pain intensity was evaluated using the sound eye motor scale as subjective scale, Wong-Bakers pain rating scale. Pulse rate was measured before, during, and after the procedure using a pulse oximeter.

Results: The average heart rate, Wong-Bakers pain rating scale, and Sound Eye Motor scale were significantly lower in the group having low-level laser when compared with the group having placebo low-level laser therapy.

Conclusion: The low-level laser can be used to control pain during local anesthesia in children.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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