Evaluation of pretreatment analgesia and endodontic treatment for postoperative endodontic pain

J Endod. 2008 Jun;34(6):652-5. doi: 10.1016/j.joen.2008.02.017. Epub 2008 Apr 2.


This study compares single-dose ibuprofen pretreatment for postoperative endodontic pain. Thirty-nine emergent patients were randomly assigned to 3 groups: placebo, ibuprofen tablets, or ibuprofen liquigels. Patients recorded their pain levels before and at the end of treatment, then every 6 hours for 24 hours after administration of the medications and standard endodontic treatment. Pain evaluations by using 3 pain scales (visual analog scale [VAS], category, and Heft-Parker) were highly correlated, suggesting the rationale for only using one pain scale in pain studies. No significant differences in postoperative pain levels were found between either single-dose ibuprofen formulation or the placebo control group (P = .84). Patients treated with calcium hydroxide versus obturation did not differ in postoperative pain levels (P = .44). This study suggests that single-dose pretreatment analgesia alone in endodontic pain patients will not significantly reduce postoperative pain below the reduction in pain from endodontic treatment.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic / administration & dosage*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Dental Pulp Necrosis / therapy
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Facial Pain / prevention & control
  • Female
  • Gels
  • Humans
  • Ibuprofen / administration & dosage*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain Measurement
  • Pain, Postoperative / prevention & control*
  • Periapical Periodontitis / therapy
  • Preoperative Care
  • Pulpitis / therapy
  • Root Canal Therapy* / methods
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Tablets


  • Analgesics, Non-Narcotic
  • Gels
  • Tablets
  • Ibuprofen