Patients with pacemakers must take special precautions when considering Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TEN) treatments. TEN is used to treat certain painful conditions, but it can interfere with pacemakers and implantable cardioverter defibrillators (ICDs). It is important to inform your dentist and doctor that you have a pacemaker so that they can take the necessary precautions. TEN has been found to be effective in reducing pain during dental procedures, such as tooth decay preparation in pediatric patients.
It can also be used to produce non-analgesic physiological effects and has been found to be beneficial in the treatment of xerostomia. In addition, it increases the rate of salivary flow in healthy individuals, as well as in xerostomic patients. In a double-blind study, of the 20 patients who needed class 1 amalgam restorations on their first permanent mandibular molars, 10 patients were treated with TENS and 10 patients were not. The patients who received TENS reported a significant decrease in pain with EVA in the evaluation periods of 24, 36 and 48 hours, while the control group experienced pain after adjustment even after a 60-hour period.
TENS has also been used in combination with nitrous oxide and oxygen or diazepam to achieve analgesic during dental treatment. According to Hochman (2), TENS is less successful in patients who are “skeptical” and “very sensitive to pain”. It is important for pacemaker patients to be aware of the potential risks associated with TEN treatments. Be sure to inform your dentist and doctor that you have a pacemaker so that they can take the necessary precautions.