• Patient Education

Dentist Needle Inspire Fear? A New Nasal Spray May Save the Day

Are you afraid of needles or just frustrated at the lack of options when you go to the dentist? You might even be one of those patients who tries to turn down anaesthetizing needles just because you don’t like the thought of them. If this sounds familiar, take heart: a new technology is here that uses a nasal spray to numb people at the dentist. This technology hasn’t yet been approved, but the potential is exciting for many Canadians who suffer from phobias or anxiety surrounding injections.

Afraid of the Dentists Needle?

Previous solutions for needle-free anaesthetics haven’t caught on because they are ineffective and standard anaesthetics work better. This nasal spray, which was developed by University of Buffalo researchers in America, is just as effective in four out of five patients. The spray is called Kovacaine Mist, the name reminiscent of Novocaine painkillers for dentistry.

Can help patients who are anxious

If you feel anxious about the dentist because you suffer from dental anxiety, you aren’t alone. It’s estimated that up to three-quarters of the population has some form of phobia surrounding the dentist, with about one in ten feeling anxious about needles in particular. If you are in this group, you might have poor oral health because you avoid checkups and procedures in order to avoid needles.

Not available on the market yet

Kovacaine Mist is not yet available on the market, but it is undergoing safety trials by the US Food and Drug Administration and the manufacturer, S. Renatus LLC, is hoping for product approval as soon as next year. When it is approved, dental hygienists and assistants should be able to administer it so you will need to take up less of your dentist’s time and you can get straight to the treatment. Patient feedback is being collected as the third phase of the clinical trials is finished.

By the end of summer 2013, this nasal spray could be approved as an option to replace needles when you’re at the dentist. If you are one of the 70 percent of people willing to switch dentists to one that provides a needle-free mist, you don’t have long to wait.