Nasal Spray Utilizing Needle-Free Technology
As one of the foremost experts on pain management and anesthesiology, Stanley F. Malamed, DDS, understands not only the challenges associated with delivering anesthetic drugs to patients, but also the importance of pain control in everyday dentistry. He asks practitioners to think about the following example. “Consider if Monday were a drug-free day in dentistry; you probably wouldn’t go to work, because really there are some little things you could do, but most of what we do in dentistry requires pain control. If you did not have local anesthetics, you could not do what you do.”
All areas of dentistry are reliant upon the ability to control a patient’s level of pain, and local anesthesia is the mainstay available to dentists. However, the main barrier that dentists encounter when administering local anesthesia is helping a patient overcome a fear of needles. “It’s the needle that the patients are most afraid of, and they tell doctors constantly, ‘Do you have to give me a shot to do this?’ or ‘Doctor, I hate getting shots but once I’m numb I’ll be okay,’” Malamed explains.
To address the need to deliver anesthesia to these patients, St. Renatus has developed a revolutionary, needle-free method for delivering anesthesia. Kovanaze® is intended for use as a regional dental anesthesia for maxillary non-molar teeth, delivered in the nasal cavity to achieve regional anesthesia for the restorative treatment of teeth. Kovanaze is comprised of two well-known and well-established pharmaceuticals: tetracaine hydrochloride, an ester local anesthetic that blocks sodium ion channels required for the initiation and conduction of neuronal impulses; and oxymetazoline hydrochloride, a sympathomimetic that exerts its local decongestant effects in the nose.
“Now you can go to a patient who is afraid of getting a shot and say, ‘We have something to offer you; we can spray something in your nose, then we can work on your maxillary teeth,’” Malamed comments. In Phase 3 clinical trials, use of Kovanaze in the anterior maxillary region during restorative procedures resulted in 96% efficacy in teeth Nos. 5 through 12 and 64% efficacy in teeth Nos. 4 and 13; therefore, clinicians using Kovanaze can offer a needle-free alternative to the majority of anterior maxillary injections.* “What is it worth to a dentist to be able to say to a patient, we can treat you painlessly and in certain maxillary teeth, without an injection? It’s priceless, because it is the most important thing that a patient wants,” Malamed asserts.
Besides needle-free delivery, an additional benefit for patients is that they may not experience the same sensations of numbness or tingling of the lips and cheeks associated with injectable anesthetics.
Providing a painless spray as an alternative for patients averse to needles is a step forward for pain control in the dental chair. Malamed sees this delivery system as a tremendous advantage for the dental profession and patient care. “The nasal spray is great; I think it’s going to do very well in the dental profession because patients are going to love it.”
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