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Dental discomfort reduced by anaesthetic innovation
Updated: 5/14/2008 2:00:26 PM

Most people know the discomfort of having a numb mouth and lips for hours after being given a local anaesthetic at the dentist.

That could soon be a thing of the past however, as the government has given the go-ahead for a new drug that purports to undo the effects of local dental anaesthesia.

In clinical trials OraVerse cut the median times it took for full sensation to return to lips by more than half, to around 70 minutes, dentistry.co.uk reported.

Novular Pharmaceuticals, the San Diego-based company that manufactures the drug, has said it will begin selling OraVerse to dentists in the US for $12.50 an injection.

It suggests that it could be particularly useful for children, who are more prone to biting their lips or tongue when the area is numb, although the product is not suitable for those under six years old.

OraVerse works by reversing the effects of epinephrine, which is usually combined with anaesthetics to constrict the blood vessels and prevent the anaesthetic being carried away from the mouth too quickly.

This latest innovation is part of a range of ways in which dentists are working make a visit to them a better experience for patients. Yesterday, the Dallas Morning News reported that a number of dentist offices now offer spa-type amenities.
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