Costs and benefits of Papacarie in pediatric dentistry: a randomized clinical trial

Sci Rep. 2018 Dec 17;8(1):17908. doi: 10.1038/s41598-018-36092-x.


Papacarie gel is an agent that eliminates the need for local anesthesia and reduces the need for using a drill. However, there is no information regarding the cost per procedure. Therefore we analyzed the cost, per procedure, of Papacarie gel compared to the traditional method (drilling), and performed a comparison between these methods of carious tissue removal. A randomized clinical trial was performed with 24 children with an average age of 5.9 years old. Of these children, 12 were boys and 12 were girls, which resulted in a total of 46 restorations. Patients were separated into: Papacarie group (caries removal with the chemical-mechanical method - Papacarie gel) and Drill group (caries removal with the traditional method - drilling). Values of the materials used in the procedures, heart rate (before, 5 minutes during, and after dental treatment), and the total consultation duration were recorded. A level of significance of 5% was adopted. Papacarie had a lower cost per procedure ($ 0.91) when compared to the traditional method ($ 1.58). Papacarie provided a cost reduction of 42% compared to the traditional method. Using local anesthesia ($ 2.17), the cost reduction increased to 58%. In the procedure using drill + Papacarie ($ 1.37), the cost reduction was 33%. Heart rate, consultation duration, and number of restorations were not statistically different. Papacarie shows an excellent cost benefit for minimally invasive removal of carious tissue and is a feasible alternative for public health care.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Brazil
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Dental Caries / drug therapy*
  • Dental Caries / economics*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Papain / economics*
  • Papain / therapeutic use*
  • Pediatric Dentistry / economics*
  • Tooth, Deciduous / drug effects


  • Papacarie
  • Papain