General dentistry

Clinical efficacy of tetracaine anesthetic paste.

PMID 22414520


Benzocaine, the most commonly used topical anesthetic in dentistry, often fails to eliminate the pain associated with injections. One type of anesthetic used frequently in medicine with success is tetracaine, but minimal research has been done regarding the application of tetracaine in dentistry. This study sought to evaluate the effectiveness and safety of tetracaine anesthetic paste (TAP), a newly formulated topical anesthetic. For this study, TAP was applied to the maxillary mucobuccal fold of one side of the arch and benzocaine paste was applied to the opposite side prior to injection of anesthetic. Patients then reported the level of pain experienced on each side and were evaluated for any adverse reactions. The results showed no difference in effectiveness between TAP and benzocaine paste, and no adverse reactions were reported. Because of the safety and effectiveness of tetracaine extraorally, further research is warranted on its intraoral use.