Not to be sniffed at! Nasal spray could end painful dentist injections

Kovacaine Mist was as effective as standard anaesthetics in four out of five patients

Good news for patients who dread the dentist's needle - scientists in America have pioneered a nasal spray that could do away with painful anaesthetic injections for most procedures.

The spray, Kovacaine Mist, was as effective as standard anaesthetics in four out of five patients, according to researchers at the University of Buffalo. Around 15 million people in the UK have "dental anxiety" according to the British Dental Association.

Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the British Dental Health Foundation said: "Patients anxious of the dentist are, in theory, likely to have poorer oral health than those who get regular check-ups. This nasal spray could be a very promising addition to any dental practice."

The product has passed phase two clinical trials in the USA. Safety trials with the US Food and Drugs Administration could be complete by the end of the summer and final product approval in the USA could be achieved by next year, according to the manufacturer, St Renatus LLC.

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