Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery

, Volume 22, Issue 2, pp 177–183 | Cite as

Clinical evaluation of two dexamethasone regimens in the extractions of impacted third molars—a randomized clinical trial

  • Carllini Barroso Vicentini
  • Juliana Cama Ramacciato
  • Francisco Carlos Groppo
  • Rubens Gonçalves Teixeira
  • Rogério Heládio Lopes Motta
Original Article



The aim of the present study was to compare two therapeutic protocols of dexamethasone for the prevention of postoperative swelling, pain, and other complications after the extraction of impacted third molars, in a prospective, randomized, crossover, double-blinded clinical trial.


Fifty patients with symmetrical impaction of third molars were randomly assigned to two different protocols of dexamethasone for each side. Patients underwent two sessions performed at a 21-day interval. In group 1, patients took 8 mg of dexamethasone orally 1 h before the procedure, and in group 2, 4 mg dexamethasone orally 1 h before and 24 h after the procedure. Surgery duration, volume of local anesthetics, surgical technique, and rescue medication were standardized. Postoperative pain was evaluated using a visual analog scale (VAS) at predefined times: before operation; immediately after; 1, 2, 4, and 12 h; and 1, 2, 3, and 7 days after operation. The patients were also instructed to take notes of the number of rescue medication tablets taken. Edema and mouth opening were clinically evaluated before surgery and in the postoperative period (second and seventh postoperative days).


There were no significant differences between groups for VAS scales (p = 0.5048), but the use of rescue medication was significantly lower in group 1 (p = 0.006). None statistically significant differences (p > 0.05) were observed between groups in any of the time points for all measurements of edema. However, the mouth opening limitation (DIINC) was bigger (p = 0.0069) for group 1 at 2 days.


Pre-emptive use of different dexamethasone regimens had a beneficial effect against pain, edema, and mouth opening limitation, especially when administered at an 8 mg concentration, which suggests that this protocol may also be efficient for more invasive surgery.


Pain Edema Dexamethasone Oral surgery 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.

Informed consent

Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carllini Barroso Vicentini
    • 1
  • Juliana Cama Ramacciato
    • 2
  • Francisco Carlos Groppo
    • 3
  • Rubens Gonçalves Teixeira
    • 4
  • Rogério Heládio Lopes Motta
    • 2
  1. 1.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery AreaInstituto Tocantinense Presidente Antônio Carlos Porto (ITPAC PORTO)Porto NacionalBrazil
  2. 2.Pharmacology, Anesthesiology and Therapeutics AreaSão Leopoldo Mandic Institute and Research CenterCampinasBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Physiological Sciences, Piracicaba Dental SchoolUniversity of Campinas (UNICAMP)PiracicabaBrazil
  4. 4.Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery AreaSão Leopoldo Mandic Institute and Research CenterCampinasBrazil

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