Did you know there is a way to significantly reduce the sting of a dental injection? To explain it I am going to talk chemistry for a minute. Normal dental anesthesia (2% lidocaine) is in the pH range of 3.7 which is quite acidic. This is why it stings when it is injected into the sensitive oral mucosa. The acidic nature is also what makes it slower to be absorbed and used by the body for the desired aesthetic result. Often times it takes 10 minutes or more for the anesthesia to take place in order to be comfortable for the dental procedure.
Buffering the anesthetic is a way to bring the pH up to body pH (7.8), reduce the sting (or eliminate it in many cases), and allow the anesthetic to be effective immediately. A company called Orapharma has developed an easy way to add the buffering agent (sodium bicarbonate) to the capsule of anesthetic. When buffered, the pH of the anesthetic is higher and is near body pH. With the use of topical anesthesia to numb the initial pin prick of the needle, and the buffered solution, the injection is virtually painless. Numerous patients have reported not even knowing the anesthesia was delivered when it was finished.
Just one more way to make the dental experience more comfortable. Our patients love it at the Toothery!