The ability of a dental transcutaneous electronic nerve stimulator to control pain from injection of local anesthesia was compared to the pain-controlling ability of topical anesthesia. Two maxillary infiltration injections were completed on 21 patients, one injection after electronic anesthesia, the other after topical anesthesia. Patients reported the level of pain caused when the needle pierced their tissue and the solution was injected and their overall evaluation of the injection. No difference was reported for piercing of the tissue; however, the level of pain was very low. Significantly less pain was reported for the injection of local anesthesia solution and the overall evaluation of the injection was more favorable when electronic anesthesia was used. The patients preferred the electronic technique three to one over the topical anesthesia.