Pain management during dental procedures is a cornerstone for successful everyday practice. Current dental practice delivers local anaesthesia using the traditional syringe and needle injection method. However, the appearance of long needles and pain associated with it often leads to patient anxiety and phobia deterring patients from dental visits contributing to an increasing oral disease burden.
We aim to provide a non-invasive, painless and efficient anaesthetic delivery platform for local anaesthesia in dentistry. Specifically, we will develop a highly conductive microneedle (MN) array for iontophoretic delivery of anaesthetic agents into the oral mucosa and underlying alveolar bone to target the sensory nerves supplying teeth. Our preliminary data of the 1st-generation conductive MN patch used in combination with iontophoresis was capable of achieving dental anaesthetic effect in a rabbit model. At a 95% confidence interval for duration of action, the anaesthetic effect outcome achieved with our technology was shown to be equivalent to the current gold standard of using needle and syringe injection.
If successfully translated, this innovation is expected to eliminate patients’ phobia promoting patient compliance in seeking timely dental treatments. Dentists will also save time spent on behavioural management of phobic patients, hence improving clinic efficiency which translates to overall cost-savings.
A novel anaesthetic MN patch that combines the use of iontophoresis for the purpose of painless injection of anaesthetic agents into the oral mucosa.
Principal Investigator: Dr Goh Bee Tin
Institution: National Dental Centre Singapore
NHIC Ref: NHIC-I2D-1904227