Anyone who’s ever had gum disease should know that gum disease treatment is a must. But sensitive or fearful patients may experience some roadblocks when it comes to getting their dental problems treated. Some dentists may feel local anesthesia isn’t necessary for a deep cleaning — but patients who experience sensitivity would beg to differ! And for patients who don’t like needles, the possibility of using local anesthesia for minor procedures isn’t even considered. Dentsply has come up with a needle-free solution for patients who require dental anesthesia for scaling and root planning treatment.
Oraqix® is a needleless form of local anesthesia used for gum disease treatment, specifically, scaling and root planning. In fact, Oraqix is the first and only FDA-approved needle-free subgingival (below the gum line) dental anesthetic intended for scaling and root planning procedures.
Scaling and root planning is often the first step in treating gingivitis and most stages of gum disease. During the procedure, a scaling instrument is used to remove dental tartar from below the gum line then smooth the tooth’s roots so plaque cannot easily reattach itself. While this type of gum disease treatment is not painful, it can be difficult for sensitive patients. While local anesthesia is optional, it creates a numb feeling in your lips and tongue that can affect normal functioning of your mouth long after your procedure is over. And for a non-surgical procedure that often lasts only a few minutes, the resulting hours of numbness may not be worth it.
Oraqix is not injected. Rather, it is dispensed through a blunt tip applicator directly onto and under your gums. Once your dentist starts the process, it will literally take a minute before gum disease treatment can begin. First, Oraqix is applied at gum line. Your dentist will wait 30 seconds then dispense the liquid in your periodontal pocket until it reaches the gum line. After an additional 30 seconds passes, your dentist can start your scaling and root planing treatment.
The effects should be a numbness that prevents you from feeling sensitivity during this type of dental treatment. Unlike local anesthesia, which can last for 3-5 hours, the effects of Oraqix should last for approximately 20 minutes. Not only will you eliminate the invasive use of a needle, but the numbness often associated with local anesthesia will wear off much faster so you can eat, speak and drink normally again.
The active ingredients of Oraqix are lidocaine and prilocaine, which are common local anesthetics used in dentistry. Oraqix is non-invasive and easy to administer. In many states, it can be applied by a dental hygienist prior to scaling and root planing treatment.
Oraqix has been deemed safe for use in adult patients by the FDA. Regardless, medications can affect individuals differently, so be sure to inform your doctor about your medical history, prescription drug use and any allergies you might have before using Oraqix. According to Dentsply, the most common side effects during clinical trials included site reactions, headaches and aversion to taste.
Keep in mind that Oraqix is meant for gum disease treatment, not prevention. To help prevent periodontal disease and other dental problems, follow a routine dental care plan that includes excellent oral hygiene and regular dental visits.