New Technique May Help Dental Phobia Patients

According to encounters of these patients, they simply cannot even think about that dreaded sensation when the needle seems to go as deep as possible into the interior cheek tissue/the gumline, and then that horrible feeling of “pressure” while the anesthetic is delivered. It feels like it takes ages to happen…all the while the patient holds his breath and bulges his eyes.

Well, good news is on the way because researchers have come up with a completely new approach to help these needle-phobic patients. They are trying to patent a special nasal spray which contains anesthetic, and which can be used as anesthesia for most types of major dental procedures, eliminating the need of the injection.

The nasal spray is called Kovacaine Mist, and scientists say it is just as effective as standard regular anesthesia through injection in the gums or gum tissue. The nasal spray has been pioneered by researchers from the University of Buffalo, US.

The British Dental Association brought to light some statistics according to which about 15 million people struggle with some level of dental anxiety. In the US, this number is even greater, and researchers felt there is something that must be done in order to alleviate this excessive dental phobia among patents.

When a patient with a dental abscess does not go to the dentist because of the fear of the injection, that abscess will sooner or later turn into an infection which requires root canal therapy (which, by the way costs minimum $1,000). Then, if the root canal therapy is unsuccessful, the tooth must be extracted, and then the patient needs to replace that missing tooth with a bridge which costs another $1,000 or a dental implant $3,600+. A never-ending vicious circle…

According to the chief executive of British Dental Health Foundation, Dr. Nigel Carter, patients with dental anxiety are most likely to struggle with a quite poor oral health. They constantly postpone required dental appointments, and then end up in the emergency rooms with complex dental issues which require surgery. Therefore, this “magic” nasal spray might be the answer to so many tens of millions of people across the world who struggle with dental anxiety.

In the US, the Kovacaine Mist nasal spray has already passed level two of the clinical trials, and it is foreseen that by the fall these safety trials by the US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) will be completed. Early 2014 could see many dental practices already offering this nasal spray type of anesthesia to dental patients.

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