Comparison of a piezoelectric and a standard surgical handpiece in third molar surgery
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Aim:The aim was to compare the use of a piezoelectric handpieceversus a standard surgical handpiece in removal of impacted thirdmolars under general anaesthesia.Materials and methods:Thirty patients undergoing routine third molarremoval were included in the study. Panoramic radiographs were usedto assess the positioning of the impacted third molars. The patients wererandomly subdivided and the split mouth technique was used in whicheach side (left or right) of the mouth was randomly assigned to twotreatment groups. Hence each patient served as their own control. Inone group, a piezoelectric handpiece was used, while a conventionalhandpiece was used for the second group.All aspects of preoperative care, general anaesthesia, surgery and post-operative care were standardised for the two groups. The followingparameters were recorded; time of surgery, bleeding during surgery,post-operative swelling, post-operative pain, associated complicationsand post-operative nerve injury.Results:No statistically significant difference was found between thegroups in terms of pain and swelling. There was less bleeding with theuse of the piezoelectric device as compared with the standard surgicalhandpiece; however, the surgical time was longer. There were noreports of trauma to the lips or intra-oral soft tissue. There were twoincidences (6.7%) of post-operative paraesthesia in the standard surgicalhandpiece group.Conclusions:The use of a piezoelectric device is an acceptablealternative to the standard surgical handpiece in third molar surgery. Itsuse is advocated in difficult cases especially where there is inferioralveolar nerve approximation.