Innovations in Oral Anesthetics

I saw a recent article about the use of amitriptylene as a topical anesthetic for dentistry. (J Oral Maxillofac Surg 71:23-28, 2013). This is interesting. There are many medications which block nerve transmission orally. For patients who are sensitive to other local anesthetics, I like Diphenhydramine (Benedryl). It is widely available and is a simple histamine blocker. It numbs the tissue quite effectively and also reduces the inflammation response. The injectable form can be used just like local anesthetic. The gel tabs are bitter, but their liquid contents work nicely for topical anesthesia.

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