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Local Anesthesia Part 8: Articaine - Is it the IDEAL local anesthetic for dentistry? Facts & Fiction
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Updated for 2018

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.


Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the clinical characteristics that make articaine HCl ‘different’
  2. Compare articaine HCl clinically to other dental local anesthetics
  3. Discuss the use of articaine HCl in pediatrics; (2) pregnancy and (3) nursing
  4. Discuss the use of articaine HCl in (1) pregnancy and (2) nursing
  5. Discuss the ‘controversy’ over prolonged anesthesia (paresthesia) as related to injectable local anesthetics in dentistry
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