This article discusses various alternative methods of treating the patient who encounters problems with local anesthetics. Those alternative methods include: acupuncture, hypnosis, sedation, general anesthesia, and antihistamines as a substitute for local anesthetics with more of a focus in using antihistamines as an effective local anesthetic agent. Although not frequently encountered in the clinical setting, allergic reactions to local anesthetics do occur. Various surveys indicate the number of deaths attributed to local anesthesia range from 1:1,500,000 to 1:4,000,000, with oral surgery offices having higher mortality rates than general dentistry offices. This occurs despite clinicians' attention to patient medical histories, aspiration of the local anesthetic syringe during injections, and minimizing the dosage of local anesthetic solutions. Generally speaking, local anesthetics can be divided into two groups: ester of benzoic and aminobenzoic derivatives (cocaine, benzocaine, procaine, tetracaine, butacaine, etc.) or amide-derivatives of xylidine and toluidine groups (lidocaine, mepivacaine, prilocaine a.k.a. Citanest, etc.). Adverse effects include allergic or toxic reactions, as well as negative effects of any vasoconstrictors contained within the local anesthetic solution. This article will concentrate on how to successfully manage patients who have previously encountered allergic reactions.
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