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Good local anesthesia should work quickly and be 100% effective while causing no pain or toxicity. Although no anesthetic can provide the perfect combination of these attributes, a buffered anesthetic is beneficial when it comes to limiting toxicity because of the reduced volume needed and the substantial decrease in the time it takes to be effective when compared with more traditional means. Unlike other local anesthetics that have high acidity, buffered anesthesia uses sodium bicarbonate mixed into lidocaine prior to injection to neutralize the acid. By utilizing the Henderson–Hasselbalch equation, the pH of a buffered solution can be calculated, helping to hasten the amnestic effect and lessen pain. Different injection techniques, such as the Halstead, Varizani-Akinosi nerve block, and Gow-Gates nerve block, also help to reduce pain during and after injection. When administered with the Varizani-Akinosi nerve block technique, buffered anesthesia can be injected with less discomfort for the patient. Using buffered anesthesia allows dentists to save time, reduce patients’ pain, and increase revenue due to improved efficiency.
The author reports no conflicts of interest associated with this work.