Local anesthesia is essential for pain management in dentistry. The duration of anesthetic action of the addition of 5.0 and 7.5 ppm of dexmedetomidine (DEX) was significantly longer than the addition of adrenaline, and the mean duration of anesthetic action of the addition of 2.5 ppm DEX was also longer than the addition of adrenaline. We hypothesized that it is possible to safely achieve an equal local anesthesia effect as with 1:80,000 adrenaline, without using adrenaline or felypressin, by the addition of <2.5 ppm DEX to the local anesthetic solution.
Materials and Methods:
Nineteen healthy volunteers were randomly assigned by a computer to receive 1.8 mL of 1 of 3 drug combinations (1.8% lidocaine with 1.0 ppm [1.8 μg] DEX, lidocaine with 2.0 ppm [3.6 μg] DEX or lidocaine with 1:80,000 [22.5 μg] adrenaline), to produce inferior alveolar nerve block. Pulp latency and lower lip numbness (for assessing onset and duration of anesthesia) were tested, and sedation level, blood pressure, and heart rate were recorded every 2 minutes for 10 minutes, every 5 minutes from 10 to 20 minutes, and every 10 minutes from 20 to 60 minutes.
Pulp latency increased compared with the baseline, from 4 minutes until 60 minutes; there were no significant intergroup differences at any timepoint. Anesthesia onset did not differ between groups. Anesthesia duration did not differ between groups. Blood pressure and heart rate did not change in any group. Sedation score did not indicate deep sedation in any of the groups.
DEX at a concentration of 1.0 to 2.0 ppm enhances the local anesthetic action of lidocaine. DEX at 2.0 ppm produces similar enhancement of local anesthesia effect as the addition of 1:80,000 adrenaline.