Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Olsen, Kris

Second Advisor

Gaffney, Joseph

Third Advisor

Hefti, Arthur


Purpose: The purpose of this randomized, double-blind pilot study was to determine the effect of dexamethasone on post-operative pain when used as an intracanal rinse prior to obturation.

Materials and Methods: Nine adult volunteers consented to enroll. They presented to the Marquette University School of Dentistry Endodontic Department with a diagnosis of irreversible pulpitis. Patients recorded their baseline pain levels on the numering rating scale (NRS). Patients were randomly assigned to either experimental or control group. Patients in the experimental group received 4 mg/mL dexamethasone solution as a final rinse prior to obturation were as patients in the control group received saline as a final rinse. Patients recorded their pain levels at 3, 6, 12, 24, and 48 hours post-operatively. Means and standard deviations were calculated. Treatment effects were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA. Statistical significance was set at p<.05.

Results: Eight patients returned the participation forms. Pain reduction after endodontic treatment was statistically significant (p=0.039). There was no significant difference in post-operative pain between the control and experimental groups (p-0.789).

Conclusion: The patient sample size was not large enough to state any conclusions with confidence. However, endodontic treatment remains an effective means of reducing post-operative pain.