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Since the mid-1800s, advancements in dental anesthetics have revolutionized modern dentistry and lowered the level of discomfort felt by dental patients. These improvements in relief from discomfort have increased trust and bridged better relationships between dentists and their patients.

The local anesthetic is injected into the tissue surrounding the area of operation to give immediate relief, and to block discomfort from a surgical procedure. In the beginning, the local anesthetic of choice was called Novocaine (procaine). This was commonly used for injectable anesthesia until adverse allergic reactions were discovered in some patients. At that point, Articaine was developed and is used as an alternative to Novocaine for dental practitioners who have allergy-prone patients.

Articaine has been found to be a dependably safe and effective local anesthetic for many procedures that require injectables, but it is not the most widely used. That honor goes to a product called Lidocaine (aka xylocaine or lignocaine). Considered the standard by which all injectable anesthetics are judged, lidocaine has fairly few adverse reactions compared to the others and has been widely used in the US for half a century longer than articaine. Although, for procedures that require lengthier management of discomfort, articaine is the longest-lasting and chosen before lidocaine for that reason.

As with all medications, these anesthetics are processed by the liver and kidneys. Consult with your doctor before any procedure where they may be used if you have issues with those organs. Feel free to call Dr. Mark Baker and our team at Premier Dental. You can make an appointment at: 435-628-0621, or come by our office in St. George, Utah.