Nasal spray to replace anesthesia injections?

A nasal spray shown to numb the upper jaw is set to be tested in an FDA phase III trial to assess the spray's effectiveness compared to conventional anesthesia injections.

"A successful trial of this new dental anesthetic will change dental technology worldwide," said Sebastian Ciancio, D.D.S., a University at Buffalo SUNY distinguished service professor and chair of the department of periodontics and endodontics, in a press release.

Dr. Ciancio and colleagues also conducted preliminary dental studies using the nasal spray, which is being developed by St. Renatus of Fort Collins, CO. Results of a phase II trial, conducted in 48 subjects at the University at Buffalo School of Dental Medicine, showed that the spray appears to be safe and effective, according to the press release.

The nasal spray formula is related to a drug used by ear, nose, and throat physicians when they operate on the nose. Patients who received this anesthetic reported that their upper teeth felt numb, sparking interest in using the anesthetic for dental procedures, according to the press release. The spray is effective only on the upper teeth.

The phase III trial will be carried out later this year at the University at Buffalo dental school and other clinical sites.

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