Introduction: The aim of this study was to identify preoperative factors associated with local anesthesia failure. Methods: The National Dental Practice-Based Research Network (www.NationalDentalPBRN.org) data from 534 patients who received a nonsurgical root canal treatment completed in a single appointment were included in this analysis. Three methods for defining anesthesia failure were used: definition 1, patient-reported level of numbness; definition 2, provider-reported quality of anesthesia; and definition 3, provider-reported use of supplemental anesthesia. Fifty-one preoperative factors were investigated and analyzed individually against the overall failure rate for each method, and multivariate generalized estimating equation logistic models were fit with predictors chosen using stepwise model selection to evaluate factors that may interact with each other. Results: The overall anesthesia failure rates were 5%, 15%, and 30% for definitions 1, 2, and 3, respectively. Provider experience, diabetes, absence of sharp or aching pain, absence of smoking, and a fair expected outcome were associated with anesthesia failure (definition 1). Provider level of training, absence of a sinus tract, bite sensitivity, and stress making the pain worse were associated with anesthesia failure (definition 2). Provider level of training, pain provoked by stimulus, mandibular teeth, teeth with vital pulps, and pain interfering with daily activities were associated with the use of supplemental anesthesia (definition 3). Conclusions: With the range of 5%–30% of anesthesia failures, a few common factors across the models assessed were elucidated. Providers with higher levels of training had significantly fewer anesthesia failures. Patient self-reported history of diabetes and preoperative pain-related interference with daily activities were associated with more anesthesia failures. Greater severity of various tooth-related pain characteristics, as a group but not individually, accounted for more anesthesia failures.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Supported by National Institutes of Health (grant numbers K12-RR023247 , U01-DE016746 , U01-DE016747 , U19-DE-28717 , and UL1TR002494 ).
© 2021 American Association of Endodontists
- Dental anesthesia
- local anesthesia
- persistent pain
- practice-based research