Oraqix® (lidocaine and prilocaine periodontal gel) 2.5% / 2.5% Offering a Better Patient Experience During Scaling and Root Planing
As a dental hygienist with 19 years' experience, Janoa Hayes, LDH, takes great pride in ensuring her patients are satisfied with their treatment. Much of that satisfaction depends on how comfortable their experience is. "We see a lot of patients with a fear of dental procedures, particularly when the procedure involves the use of a needle. Being able to provide patients with a topical, injection-free anesthetic while we work in their mouth really helps alleviate their anxiety," Hayes states.
Hayes' preference is to use Dentsply Sirona's Oraqix®. Within 30 seconds, Oraqix can provide sufficient anesthesia for most patients receiving scaling/root planing (SRP) so that dentists and hygienists can perform procedures fast and effectively, she says, adding that each cartridge typically numbs the area for approximately 20 minutes. A combination of lidocaine and prilocaine, Oraqix can be used for one tooth, multiple teeth, or even full-mouth SRP.
"When working on a patient whose treatment requires me to numb the entire mouth, such as scaling for early gum disease, this gel is ideal. My patients love that they do not have a numb mouth for hours and can almost immediately feel like they are back to normal," Hayes asserts.
As Hygiene Training Developer at Heartland Dental, a large dental support organization, Hayes instructs numerous hygienists, and she encourages them to use a non-injectable local anesthetic like Oraqix on patients who have up to moderate inflammation or infection. For one reason, she says, the FDA-approved periodontal gel is pH neutral and safe to use on inflamed tissues. "With some topical anesthetics the maximum recommended dose per appointment is extremely small, so you have to be careful about the amount you are using. With Oraqix, this is not a concern."
According to Hayes, Oraqix is easy to set up and use. The product comes in pre-measured packaging and is applied via its own dispenser. Unit-dose cartridges allow for easy application without messy drip-off. Administered topically and below the gum line, Oraqix is a liquid at room temperature but then, once applied, thickens at body temperature into a gel. The gel remains in place while the anesthetic takes effect, with an onset time of 30 seconds. Oraqix can also be reapplied to the same pocket for up to five cartridges per appointment, ensuring optimal comfort for the patient throughout the entire procedure.
Clinicians and hygienists can also enjoy a smoother workflow as a result of adding Oraqix to their SRP procedures, Hayes suggests. "When Oraqix was introduced to the market in 2003, hygienists in my practicing state of Indiana were not certified to give local injectable anesthesia. Needless to say, I started using Oraqix shortly after its release, as it really did speed things up for me and changed my daily routine. Rather than waiting for a doctor to come in and give the injectable anesthetic, I could now administer the anesthetic myself."
Hayes notes that patients are always glad to know that the numbness they will experience with Oraqix won't last as long as they're used to, yet it still works just as effectively in keeping them pain-free. "My patients are also excited to hear that they will likely be in and out faster than expected," she says.
It is these types of benefits that help ensure that patients will return for their follow-up periodontal maintenance, Hayes insists. "Now they know they can have a relatively pain-free dental experience without the use of a needle. On top of that, they'll be able to leave the operatory without being numb and have full function of their lips and jaw before long."
"The biggest thing patients notice is that they didn't have to see or feel a needle," she reiterates. "Our patients often say ‘wow, that was easy, there was no discomfort, and I didn't even have to get a shot!' Oraqix saves me time and makes the patient happy-it doesn't get better than that."
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