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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Topical application of 5% eutectic mixture of lignocaine and prilocaine (EMLA) before removal of arch bars.

The analgesic effect of topical application of a 5% eutectic mixture of lignocaine and prilocaine (EMLA) was studied in 45 patients undergoing removal of oral arch bars used for the treatment of mandibular fractures. Employing a double-blind technique, either 4 g of the eutectic mixture (EMLA group, n = 15) or 4 g of a similar emulsion containing no local anaesthetic (placebo group, n = 15) was applied to the gingivae using a toothbrush and a standardised technique. In the control group (n = 15), infiltration anaesthesia with lignocaine was used only if requested by the patient during the removal of the arch bars. The patients in the EMLA group had significantly better analgesia (P less than 0.005) of the gingivae just before removal of the arch bars than patients in the placebo group, but by the end of the procedure the difference in analgesia was not significant. The number of patients who found the procedure pain-free was significantly higher in the EMLA group (7/14) than in the placebo group (2/15) (P less than 0.005). The plasma concentrations of both lignocaine and prilocaine were well below the toxic levels. Topical application of EMLA can be recommended for short procedures as an alternative to infiltration.[1]


  1. Topical application of 5% eutectic mixture of lignocaine and prilocaine (EMLA) before removal of arch bars. Pere, P., Iizuka, T., Rosenberg, P.H., Lindqvist, C. The British journal of oral & maxillofacial surgery. (1992) [Pubmed]
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