A product created by scientists in America could mean dental patients don’t have to fear painful anaesthetic injections anymore; a nasal spray called Kovacaine Mist was found to be as effective as standard anaesthetics in four out of five patients tested, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. This innovation could make treatment easier for the millions of Brits that suffer with a phobia of the dentist – which number around one in four, according to statistics from the British Dental Association.
The spray combines local anaesthetic tetracaine with oxymetazoline – a decongestant which reduces nasal swellings and lowers the risk of bleeding.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation, commented that this could lead to positive changes when dealing with patients who don’t like injections, he said; ‘Patients anxious of the dentist are, in theory, likely to have poorer oral health than those who get regular check-ups. This nasal spray could be a very promising addition to any dental practice.’
The product has passed phase two of clinical trials in the US, and the manufacturers are hoping to complete safety tests with the Food and Drugs Administration by the end of the summer, with final product approval in the USA achieved next year at the earliest.