Nasal spray vs. needles at the dentist office
U. BUFFALO (US) — Spraying anesthesia into the nose instead of using a needle to inject it into the mouth could make the trip to the dentist’s office a little less painful.
A recent study published in the Journal of Dental Research looked at the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of nasal anesthesia spray to produce numbness of maxillary teeth (the upper teeth).
“We constantly monitored our patients for pain and were prepared to give ‘rescue’ anesthesia to the patients with the ‘sham’ injection who needed it,” says Sebastian Ciancio. (Credit: Or Hiltch/Flickr)
According to Sebastian G. Ciancio, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, dentists have several concerns when administering injectable anesthesia that include but are not limited to the patient’s concern with the needle stick.
“Injection carries several disadvantages. The most obvious is the patient’s fear of pain. But injections also carry the possibility of exposure to blood-borne pathogens via needle stick; the risk that the anesthesia may not be effective; and injury or tenderness after the procedure,” says Ciancio.
Ciancio’s research team studied 45 adults with a mean age of 39 requiring the filling of one upper tooth.
Some patients were given an intra-oral lidocaine-epinepherine (anesthetic) injection with buffered nasal spray bilaterally, and some were given an active anesthetic nasal spray with “sham” injection.
“We constantly monitored our patients for pain and were prepared to give ‘rescue’ anesthesia to the patients with the ‘sham’ injection who needed it,” says Ciancio.
It turned out that 25 of 30 patients—or 83.3 percent—required no rescue anesthesia.
Ciancio says the results indicate that the nasal spray provided sufficient anesthesia for the performance of restorative dental procedures in most patients, and that it meets the FDA standard for being better than a placebo.
A separate study involving children is nearing completion, says Ciancio, and a wide age range of adults have been included in Phase 3 studies, which may provide valuable age-related information.
Source: University at Buffalo
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