Author : Dental Product Shopper
Published Date 06/02/2011
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Manufactured by DENTSPLY Pharmaceutical, Oraqix is the only needle-free anesthetic FDA-approved for scaling and root planing.

Introduced in 2004, DENTSPLY Pharmaceutical?s Oraqix has provided clinicians with a new way to administer pain relief to their patients, opening the door for full-mouth scaling and root planing (SRP) procedures. Regardless of whether the clinician performs consecutive quadrant scaling or full-mouth periodontal procedures, Oraqix delivers profound, needle-free anesthesia for SRP when anesthesia is required.

Patient and Clinician Benefits

As all dentists and hygienists know, the anesthetizing needle is a common source of patient anxiety and discomfort. Oraqix provides patients with a way around that problem by offering needle-free delivery. With a quick onset of 30 seconds, patients can get through their appointment fast. Additionally, Oraqix has a relatively short duration of 20 minutes, so they can return to normal activities sooner.

Another way that Oraqix saves chair-time for both the patient and the clinician is that full-mouth SRP enables the entire treatment to be completed in 1 to 2 visits, versus the traditional 4 visits for quadrant treatment. And since the patient does not experience pain from an injection and saves time, he or she may be likely to return to the practice in the future. One study found, ?Patients who experience reduced pain and increased comfort during procedures may be more likely to return for follow-up care and treatment. ?1

How It Works

The local anesthetics that power the pain relief of Oraqix are an equal mix of lidocaine and prilocaine (2.5%/2.5%). These are combined with a unique thermosetting system to deliver pain relief where it?s needed. According to DENTSPLY, combining both of these amides into a single treatment delivers fast onset and a duration that ?should be long enough to work for the entire treatment.?

As a liquid at room temperature, Oraqix is effectively applied into periodontal pockets targeted for treatment. Once administered, however, Oraqix thickens at body temperature into an elastic gel. The gel remains in place while the anesthetic takes effect and is removed once scaling is initiated. The anesthetizing effects cannot be washed away with water, either.

Research Behind the Product

From 2001 to 2004, Oraqix has been researched and evaluated for safety and efficacy. A total of 5 clinical studies have been published. In the Journal of Clinical Periodontology, a 2003 study says, ?The VAS pain scores showed that the anesthetic gel 5% was statistically more effective than the placebo in reducing pain during periodontal debridement.?2

A 2001 study states, ?There were no reports of numbness of the tongue, lip, or cheek, neither were there any adverse local reactions in the oral mucosa. The gel was easy to apply and did not interfere with the SRP procedure.?3

In addition to safety and efficacy, patient comfort also has been evaluated. In the most recent study on Oraqix in the Journal of Periodontology, the researchers found that ?somewhat less profound anesthesia with gel is clearly preferred by the patients because of the low incidence of postprocedure problems as compared to conventional injection anesthesia.?1 The research points to Oraqix as a safe, effective, and cost-effective treatment. ?Bob Alaburda


1. van Steenberghe D, Bercy P, De Boever J, et al. Patient evaluation of a novel non-injectable anesthetic gel: a multicenter crossover study comparing the gel to infiltration anesthesia during scaling and root planing. J Periodontol. 2004 Nov;75(11):1471-8.

2. Donaldson D, Gelskey SC, Landry RG, et al. A placebo-controlled multi-centred evaluation of an anaesthetic gel (Oraqix) for periodontal therapy. J Clin Periodontol. 2003 Mar;30(3):171-5.

3. Friskopp J, Nilsson M, Isacsson G. The anesthetic onset and duration of a new lidocaine/ prilocaine gel intra-pocket anesthetic (Oraqix) for periodontal scaling/root planing. J Clin Periodontol. 2001 May;28(5):453-8.