Articaine HCl was introduced in the USA in 2000 and has become a very popular
anesthetic agent. Though classified as an amide local anesthetic it is actually
a hybrid molecule, possessing both ester and amide characteristics. With
epinephrine, articaine provides approximately 60 minutes of pulpal anesthesia
and between 3 to 5 hours of soft tissue anesthesia. Its unique molecular
characteristics make articaine a preferred anesthetic in the pregnant and the
nursing patient as well as the lighter weight (<30kg) pediatric patient.
However, articaine is used as a 4% solution and there has been some concern
about the possibility of 4% anesthetics possessing a greater risk of producing
paresthesia than local anesthetics used in lesser concentrations.
This program provides an in-depth look at articaine, its advantages and
disadvantages when compared with other commonly used dental local anesthetics.
We also discuss the ‘controversy’ alleging an increased risk of paresthesia
following administration of 4% local anesthetics.