Atlanta Dental Malpractice Lawyer Discusses Articaine and Nerve Damage

Posted On: May 9, 2010 by Robert J. Fleming

Articaine is a local anesthetic that is used widely around the United States. Worldwide, more than 100 million dental patients are believed to be treated with Articaine every year. However, since the drug was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2000 under the brand-name Septocaine, there has been concern about its links to lingual nerve damage.

There has been substantial research into the lingual nerve injury risks of using Septocaine. In 2005, the Danish Medicines Agency published a report, which studied the risks from the use of this nerve block in dental treatment. The study was done to deal with concerns that Septocaine was linked to a high number of cases of lingual nerve damage reported to the Danish Dental Association, and reports of side effects reported to the Danish Medicines Agency. Danish authorities were particularly concerned about the development of paraesthesia from the use of Septocaine. The study concluded that there needed to be more research into this issue. However, in an apparent acknowledgment of the link between Septocaine nerve blocks and lingual nerve damage, the Septocaine package insert was changed to reflect the high incidence of Septocaine nerve blocks resulting in lingual nerve damage.

Paraesthesia is a condition in which the individual feels a picking sensation in the hands, feet, legs and arms. The feeling is similar to the crawling sensation you get when you suffer leg cramps. However, a person who suffers from paraesthesia suffers these symptoms constantly and chronically. The prickling sensation may most often be felt in the extremities, but could also be seen in other parts of the body.

It's not as if Atlanta dental malpractice lawyers began to notice the development of paraesthesia only after Articaine was introduced into the market. In fact, paraesthesia seems to be a common complication arising out of the use of local anesthetic injections. However, paraesthesia seems to be a more frequent complication in patients on whom Articaine was the preferred local anesthetic.

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