Brazilian researchers have developed a new spray-based technique for delivering anesthetic, which may well spare you from a needle in the gums next time you have to visit the dentist.
The new technique involves the use of an already-used local painkiller gell, sprayed or rubbed onto the area to be numbed. The area is then stimulated with a small, painless electrical current, which provides a 12-fold boost to the numbing effect of the gell.
The benefits of this are threefold: the procedure saves time and money, reduces the risk of infection, and makes people in the dentists chair a lot more comfortable.
The author of the study, Renata Fonesca Vianna Lopez, said: “Over the last few years, our research group has been working on the development of novel drug delivery systems for the treatment of several skin and eye diseases.”
Lopez and her team have shown strong positive results in animal trials, and their work has been published in the journal Colloids and Surfaces B: Biointerfaces, and they hope to move on to human trials.
Following a trend set late last year by Google, the use of invasive and uncomfortable needles is set to decline in many industries, a move that no doubt has trypanophobes around the world breathing a sigh of relief.