Dr Mohammad Hossein Nekoofar
Immediate Past President of Iranian Association of Endodontists
Director of International Relations, Tehran University of Medical Sciences
Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer, Cardiff University

Is Articaine More Effective Than Lidocaine in Patients with Irreversible Pulpitis? An Umbrella Review

Background Pain management can be challenging during root canal treatment of teeth with irreversible pulpitis.

Aim To identify whether articaine or lidocaine is the most appropriate local anaesthetic solution for teeth with irreversible pulpitis undergoing root canal treatment.

Data source The protocol of this umbrella review is registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42019137624). PubMed, EBSCHO host and Scopus databases were searched until June 2019.

Study eligibility criteria, participants and interventions Systematic reviews published in English comparing the effectiveness of local anaesthesia following administration of articaine or lidocaine in patients under-going root canal treatment of teeth diagnosed with irreversible pulpitis were included. Two independent reviewers selected the studies and carried out the data extraction and the appraisal of the included reviews. Disagreements were resolved in consultation with a third reviewer.

Study appraisal and synthesis methods The quality of the included reviews was appraised by two independent reviewers using the AMSTAR tool (a measurement tool to assess systematic reviews). Each of the 11 AMSTAR items was given a score of 1 if the specific criterion was met, or 0 if the criterion was not met or the information was unclear.

Results Five systematic reviews with meta-analyses were included. The AMSTAR score for the reviews ranged from 8 to 11, out of a maximum score of 11, and all reviews were categorized as ‘high’ quality. Two reviews scored 0 for item 8 in AMSTAR because the scientific quality of the clinical trials included in these reviews was not used in the formulation of the conclusions.

Limitations Systematic reviews published only in the English language were included. Only a small number of studies were available to assess pain intensity during the injection phase, the time until the onset of anaesthesia and the occurrence of adverse events.

Conclusions and implications of key findings Articaine is more effective than lidocaine for local anaesthesia of teeth with irreversible pulpitis undergoing root canal treatment. There is limited evidence that injection of articaine is less painful, has more rapid onset and has fewer adverse events com-pared with lidocaine.

Keywords: Articaine, Irreversible Pulpitis, Lidocaine, Meta-Analysis, Umbrella Review, Systematic Review

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