New Delhi : Spraying anaesthesia 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 anaesthesia spray to produce numbness of maxillary teeth (the upper teeth).
“We constantly monitored our patients for pain and were prepared to give ”rescue” anaesthesia to the patients with the sham injection who needed it,” says Sebastian Ciancio, a professor at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine. According to him, dentists have several concerns when administering injectable anaesthesia 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 anaesthesia 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 (anaesthetic) injection with buffered nasal spray bilaterally, and some were given an active anaesthetic nasal spray with “sham” injection.
It turned out that 25 of 30 patients—or 83.3 per cent—required no rescue anaesthesia. Ciancio says the results indicate that the nasal spray provided sufficient anaesthesia 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.