Is a Needle-Free Way to Numb the Teeth on the Horizon?
Posted on 4/20/2016 by Office - Boone DMD
If there is one thing that we can all agree on when it comes to going to the dentist, it is that the needles involved in numbing your mouth are less than pleasant to have to deal with.
Millions of people have a fear of needles, and this can prevent them from going to the dentist to get the treatment that they need.
Shouldn't there be an easier way to numb the mouth without all that anxiety?
Well, researchers from Brazil's University of Sao Paulo have shown that a viable option might be on the horizon.
It is thought that using tiny electrical currents could become the new way to administer anesthetic to the mouth without the use of a needle, and this process could also deliver the drugs more effectively and faster than an injection ever could.
In their study, researchers added lidocaine and prilocaine, two common anesthetic drugs, to anesthetic hydrogels that were altered to help the gels to stick to the lining of the mouth.
Then, they applied a small electric current to them to see what happened, and the testing method was used on the mouth lining of pigs. The results showed that the anesthetic was both long and fast-acting. The electric current also allowed the drugs to enter the body more effectively.
This needle free option could revolutionize the field of dentistry. A Canadian study has shown that about 24% of adults and 63% of kids are afraid of needles, so the use of this technology could drastically reduce dental anxiety.
Needle free administration could improve patient compliance while also saving on costs and decreasing risks of contamination.
Unfortunately, needle free dentistry isn't here yet, but you still need to continue going to the dentist. If you suffer from dental anxiety, contact our dental office to see what options might be available.