by Dr Nastasha Park, Crombie Dental, Hampton, VIC
Oraqix is a numbing cream that offers localised pain relief. It’s not to be injected, just applied to the appropriate area.
What’s good about it
We use Oraqix with patients who have sensitive gums before they undergo a scale and clean. If they are a bit worried about the procedure, we’ll use it then too. It is administered with an applicator that looks like a blunt syringe. It’s a bit runny so it can be easily applied. It numbs the gums for about 30 minutes so by the time the scale and clean is complete, the numbness is starting to wear off.
Once we’ve used it with a patient, they usually request it again for their next appointment. Sometimes we’ll be dealing with someone who hasn’t had a scale and clean in a very long time. Their gums are usually red and angry-looking so you know it would hurt to go straight into it. A little Oraqix and they can undergo the procedure with a lot less discomfort.
It’s always gratifying when it’s been used with a patient for a number of visits but with better hygiene and oral care, eventually they don’t need it anymore. For other people, especially those with a bit of a dental phobia, it assures them that they are not going to be uncomfortable. I’m ashamed to say this but I am one of those patients who has a bit of numbing liquid before my scale and cleans.
What’s not so good
If it is swallowed, it will numb everything it touches. It’s not dangerous but it feels a little weird in the throat. We warn patients beforehand and the vast majority are fine, but on rare occasions a patient has swallowed a small amount.