Ultracare Topical Anesthetic Gel
Ultracare combines rapid onset and effective relief with multiple delivery and flavor options.
Benzocaine 20% is well accepted as an effective topical intraoral anesthetic.1 Ultracare Topical Anesthetic Gel, from Ultradent, is a 20% benzocaine anesthetic gel indicated for the temporary relief of minor irritation and pain associated with minor dental procedures, sore mouth and throat, minor gum injury, canker sores, and minor mouth and gum irritation related to dentures and orthodontic appliances. Ultracare comes in 5 flavors and provides clinicians with 5 delivery options for maximum versatility.
Ease of Use
For delivery from the 30 mL bottle, Ultracare is simply applied with the cotton applicator. Designed for optimal control in scaling and root planing, the 1.2 mL pre-loaded syringe is held in the palm of the hand, rather than with the thumb on the plunger. The IndiSpense container syringe offers 3 options: syringe delivery (by attaching and expressing into an empty 1.2 mL syringe), direct cotton applicator delivery, and cotton applicator delivery via dappen dish (for reapplication and reduced cross-contamination).
Of the 9 hygienists who evaluated Ultracare, 5 rated ease of use and application as excellent, 2 rated it as very good, and 2 rated it as fair. Some of the evaluators reported difficulty with syringe application, commenting on product waste.
A hygienist in practice for 34 years, “found the tips easy to assemble and deliver to the site,” and another said “the skinny little plastic tip is wonderful for directing gel into the sulcus without the patient feeling a thing!” A Georgia hygienist and clinical instructor called the applicator “an amazing delivery system,” and an Illinois hygienist said it “couldn’t be any easier. The tips were easy to assemble and deliver to the site…great for dispensing subgingivally.”
When asked if there was less mess than with other topicals, 6 evaluators rated Ultracare as excellent, 2 rated it as very good, and 1 rated it as poor. A hygienist from Virginia said that she liked the concept of the metal tips but found it difficult to get the material out.
One evaluator reported “much less mess,” another said it “stayed in place…no running or dripping,” and a third called syringe delivery “much neater and more area-specific.” A Utah hygienist said, “There’s definitely less mess!”
Time to Onset
In a study comparing benzocaine gel to EMLA cream and lignocaine ointment, benzocaine had the fastest onset of action.2 According to Ultradent, onset of pain relief with Ultracare occurs in 10 to 30 seconds and its anesthetic effect lasts for 8 to 10 minutes. Time to onset was rated as excellent by 2 evaluators, as very good by 4, and as good by 3. One hygienist reported “good onset but it wears off too quickly,” and another noted that “the patient is comfortable within 2 minutes.”
Ultracare comes in 5 flavors—bubble gum, butter rum, crème de menthe, piña colada, and Walterberry—enhancing patient comfort by diverting attention from the procedure, and without any after-taste. In the study cited above, taste acceptance was better with benzocaine than with the other 2 topicals tested.2
When asked to rate the flavor choices offered with Ultracare, 3 evaluators rated flavor choice as excellent, 2 rated it as very good, and 4 rated it as good. Patient reaction to flavor and anesthetic benefit was rated as excellent by 3 evaluators, as very good by 4, and as good to fair by 2.
One evaluator “thought the taste was fabulous.” Another hygienist, who “didn’t get 1 complaint, unlike the banana-flavored spray I use,” noted that “almost all patients were comfortable within 2 minutes.” An Illinois hygienist in practice for 28 years used a lidocaine/prilocaine topical for half of the maxilla and Ultracare for the other half in 1 of her patients. “The patient felt the effects were better with the Ultracare, and the flavor was much, much better.”
Seven evaluators said they would definitely or probably purchase and recommend Ultracare to colleagues. Overall satisfaction was rated as excellent by 4 evaluators, as very good by 3, and as fair by 2. “It’s so easy to use, with virtually no mess” said 1 hygienist. “I’m sold!” said another evaluator. “I love the prefilled syringes with dual tips. I don't think I can go back to my old topical.”
1. Meechan JG. Effective topical anesthetic agents and techniques. Dent Clin North Am. 2002;46:759-766.
2. Navark R, Sudha P. Evaluation of three topical anaesthetic agents against pain: a clinical study. Indian J Dent Res. 2006;17:155-160.