Although several previous studies have compared the efficacy of Gow-Gates mandibular block (GGMB) and inferior alveolar nerve block (IANB), the results remain controversial. This study used an objective, standardized and precise protocol to evaluate and compare the effectiveness and success rate of GGMB and IANB.
The study group consisted of 162 patients (93 males and 69 females) who were randomly allocated to receive GGMB or IANB for extraction of third molars. Both methods used 2.7 mL of 2% xylocaine for each patient. Pulpal and gingival tissue anesthesia of mandibular central incisors, canines, first premolars and first molars were evaluated at 0, 5, 10, 15 and 60 minutes after injection of local anesthetic solution using both an electric pulp tester and a sharp explorer.
The success rates of pulpal anesthesia in the IANB group (central incisor, 6%; canine, 37%; first premolar, 54%; first molar, 88%) were not significantly different from the GGMB group (central incisor, 8.1%; canine, 37.1%; first premolar, 54.8%; first molar, 83.9%). All subjects achieved 100% lip numbness with both methods. At 60 minutes after injection, the success rates of gingival tissue anesthesia in canine buccal and lingual areas were higher in the IANB group (100% and 100%, respectively) than in the GGMB group (91.9% and 93.5%, respectively). In the molar buccal area, the success rates at 5 and 60 minutes after injection were higher in the IANB group (97% and 100%, respectively) than in the GGMB group (88.7% and 91.9%, respectively). Furthermore, the success rates in the molar lingual area at 10, 15 and 60 minutes after injection were higher in the IANB group (100%, 100% and 100%, respectively) than in the GGMB group (91.9%, 93.5% and 91.9%, respectively). Although IANB achieved higher success rates of gingival tissue anesthesia in some gingival areas, no significant difference between the two methods was found in overall efficacy.
This study demonstrated that the efficacy of pulpal and gingival tissue anesthesia are not significantly different between the GGMB and IANB methods.