One hundred six patients with pretreatment pain presenting for endodontic treatment participated in a controlled double blind study. After root canal therapy, the patients were given an intraoral intramuscular injection of either a saline placebo or various dosages of dexamethasone. Posttreatment pain incidence and severity were evaluated at 4, 8, 24, 48, and 72 h. Injection of the various dosages of dexamethasone, taken as a group, was shown to significantly reduce the severity of pain at 4 and 8 h, and 0.07 to 0.09 mg/kg dosage alone significantly reduced pain at 8 h. Patients who received dexamethasone took significantly fewer posttreatment pain medications than those who received the placebo. Although there was a trend toward a reduction in the incidence of posttreatment pain for patients who received dexamethasone, the difference was not statistically significant.
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