Novel dental anesthetic and associated devices: a scoping review

  • Kyung Hyuk Min (Department of Oral Health, School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology) ;
  • Zac Morse (Department of Oral Health, School of Clinical Sciences, Auckland University of Technology)
  • Received : 2024.04.03
  • Accepted : 2024.05.02
  • Published : 2024.06.01


The efficient management of pain and discomfort is essential for successful dental treatment and patient compliance. Dental professionals are commonly evaluated for their ability to perform treatment with minimal patient discomfort. Despite advancements in traditional local dental anesthesia techniques, the pain and discomfort associated with injections remain a concern. This scoping review aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the literature on novel dental anesthetics and associated devices designed to alleviate pain and discomfort during dental procedures. The Joanna Briggs Institute and the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Reviews guidelines were used to prepare the review. Six databases and two sources of gray literature were searched. This review analyzed 107 sources from 1994 to 2023. Local anesthesia devices were grouped into computer-controlled local anesthetic delivery (CCLAD) systems, intraosseous anesthesia (IOA), vibratory stimulation devices, and electronic dental anesthesia (EDA). CCLAD systems, particularly the Wand and Single-Tooth Anesthesia, have been the most researched, with mixed results regarding their effectiveness in reducing pain during needle insertion compared to traditional syringes. However, CCLAD systems often demonstrated efficacy in reducing pain during anesthetic deposition, especially during palatal injections. Limited studies on IOA devices have reported effective pain alleviation. Vibrating devices have shown inconsistent results in terms of pain reduction, with some studies suggesting their primary benefit is during needle insertion rather than during the administration phase. EDA devices are effective in reducing discomfort but have found limited applicability. These findings suggest that the CCLAD systems reduce injection pain and discomfort. However, the evidence for other devices is limited and inconsistent. The development and research of innovative technologies for reducing dental pain and anxiety provides opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration and improved patient care in dental practice.



The authors thank Mr. Andrew South for his assistance in developing the search strategy for this review.


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