Department of Dental Anesthesiology: Research



The Department of Dental Anesthesiology at the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine is committed to the advancement of our discipline to improve patient care.  We are dedicated to maximizing patient comfort and safety by employing state-of-the-art outpatient anesthesia techniques, evaluating current and investigational anesthetic agents, and creating innovative procedures that will be used in the future. 

Our research program in dental anesthesia has focused on the clinical efficacy and safety of anesthetics when used in healthy and medically-compromised patients.  Areas of investigation include conscious sedation, postoperative pain management, and local anesthesia.

Recent projects include:

  • a multicenter study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a new sedative to permit elective awake fiber optic intubation; 

  • a prospective survey of the complications occurring during dental treatment with anesthesia administration in a special needs clinic setting; 

  • a study of the prevention of pain and trismus following third molar surgery:  rofecoxib vs. dexamethasone;

  • an evaluation of the pharmacokinetics of phentolamine in pediatric dental patients;

  • a multicenter study of the safety and efficacy of a local anesthetic reversal agent when administered to pediatric dental patients undergoing mandibular and maxillary procedures;

  • a multicenter study of the safety and efficacy of a local anesthetic reversal agent when administered to adults and adolescents on mandibular and maxillary procedures;

  • a survey of U.S. oral surgeon’s anesthetic, sedation, and antibiotic analgesic practice patterns when extracting third molars;

  • a survey of sedation anesthesia education in dental schools of the United States;

  • a comparison of nitrous oxide and oral triazolam compared with nitrous oxide as a single agent for the treatment of dental anxiety associated with general dentistry practices;

  • a collaborative sedation study comparing efficacy and safety of four intravenously sedative regimens in dental outpatients;

  • a study of the efficacy and clinical anesthetic characteristics of 4% articaine hcl with 1:200,000 epinephrine when administered for maxillary infiltration and inferior alveolar nerve block anesthesia;

  • a comparison of the hemostatic efficacy of  1:200,000 or 1:100,000 epinephrine when administered intraorally to induce maxillary anesthesia required for periodontal surgery.

  •  a survey of special needs care providers on the provision of   dental care for special needs patients.
  • a survey of dental hygienists’ evaluation of local anesthesia practice and education in the United States. 
  • a multicenter study evaluating the safety and efficacy of a  new sedative during monitored anesthesia  care.
  • a survey assessing the need for anesthesia and sedation in Kuwaiti dental practice.
  • a prospective survey of complications occurring with anesthesia administration during dental treatment.
  • an evaluation of six different local anesthetic formulations for achieving pulpal anesthesia of the first molar following  mandibular buccal infiltration.