What is EMLA?

Major factors in dentistry are the type of anaesthetic used and how it is administered.

Notorious for inflicting pain, dentists are usually very unpopular, especially with children. This has prompted dental technology to manufacture non-invasive alternatives to numb patients, before surgeries and other seemingly unpleasant procedures.

Generally, before extracting a tooth, or performing root canal treatment, dentists inject a numbing agent like Lidocane into your inner cheek or the roof of your mouth.

Colgate explains that there are two kinds of numbing injections. A block injection numbs an entire area of your mouth, such as one side of your lower jaw. An infiltration injection numbs a smaller area. This is the area near where the injection was given.

How is EMLA effective?

Basically, before your dentist administers your many injections, he/she will prime the site with EMLA to make the feeling more tolerable.

The EMLA leaflet suggests that EMLA Cream works by numbing the surface of the skin for a short time. You may, however, still experience the feelings of pressure and touch.

EMLA is a eutectic mixture of local anaesthetics (lidocaine + prilocaine).

It is a commercial aesthetic agent used on normal, unbroken skin to prevent pain before certain procedures such as inserting a needle for injections or drawing blood.

NCBI says that the anaesthetic agents are available in different kinds such as gels, lotions, lozenges, patches and solutions. Generally, there are 13 types of topical analgesics and anaesthetics with different bases that can be applied on mucosal tissues for pain-associated treatments.

How long does EMLA take to work?

UW Health says that EMLA should be applied at least one hour before a needle prick and longer before painful procedures. EMLA cream will begin to numb the site within 15 minutes after application, however it will take at least 60 minutes to provide pain relief. The greatest pain relief is seen 2-3 hours after it has been applied.

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