Influence of vasoconstrictors added to dental anesthetics on blood pressure and heart rate

Salvador Reyes-Fernández, Norma Samanta Romero-Castro, Guillermo Miguel Contreras-Palma, Diana Isabel Cebreros-López, Valentín Nieves-Hosiko

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Introduction: vasoconstrictors are substances added to local anesthetics to lengthen their time of action, reduce their toxicity and enhance their local hemostatic effect. There is controversy about whether the use of vasoconstrictors in dental anesthetics has a negative effect on blood pressure and heart rate.
Objective: determine the influence of vasoconstrictors added to dental anesthetics on blood pressure and heart rate.
Methods: an experimental study was conducted with 120 patients divided in two groups of 60. These patients attended clinics in the Dental Academic Unit of the Autonomous University of Guerrero from July to December 2015. Group A was given just 3 % mepivacaine, whereas Group B was given mepivacaine with epinephrine at a concentration of 1:100 000. Measurements were taken of the patients' heart rate, systolic blood pressure and diastolic blood pressure at two moments: at baseline before infiltration and 5 minutes after infiltration. Statistical analysis was based on Student's t-test for independent samples.
Results: heart rate and systolic blood pressure did not yield any statistically significant value. Diastolic blood pressure was the only hemodynamic parameter showing a statistically significant difference (t= 2.3; p= 0.02).
Conclusions: the results obtained coincide with those reported by similar studies. At the doses recommended, epinephrine is safe for healthy patients as well as for those with controlled cardiovascular conditions.

Keywords: vasoconstrictors; blood pressure; heart rate.