In Dentistry, failure of local anaesthetics is not uncommon and is in fact a feature of dental practice.
Clinical success of local anaesthetics ranges roughly between 75% and 90 %.
The inferior alveolar nerve block records the highest failure rate compared with all other nerve blocks in the human body.
Despite the problems in achieving local anaesthesia in Dentistry, there are few studies that have attempted to determine the mechanisms for these failures.
In clinical practice incomplete anaesthesia can lead to a painful experience for the patient as well as being a frustrating encounter for the clinician, leading to about 10% of cases having to be postponed.
► See also: DENTAL ANESTHESIA: Simple and safe posterior superior alveolar nerve block
An understanding of the reasons for failure could help to reduce its occurrence.
Thus, the aim of this article is to discuss some of the possible causes of failure in local anaesthesia in Dentistry and to make recommendations which may minimize the problem.
South African Dental Journal