More Smiling Patients, Please! The Benefits of Dental Compounding
If you’re anything like me, just thinking about going to the dentist probably sends a shiver down your spine. You may have visions of that dentist from Little Shop of Horrors riding motorcycles through your head. But concerns about pain, discomfort, and anxiety are only a few of the reasons that compounding is a natural match for dentistry.
According to Pharmacy Times, dental compounding is lucrative as well as effective. There are a number of common problems that dental practices routinely face that are especially well-suited for compounding, and many reasons why dentists may be better able to meet patient needs with compounded treatments.
No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions
Although a dental practice is technically an area of specialty, all kinds of individuals see dentists, from young children getting cavities filled and receiving treatments after falling off swings to elderly people needing dentures and oral care while dealing with cancer. Some patients have years of anxiety-related history, and others have extremely sensitive gag reflexes. Still others may require medications that are free of dyes, lactose, preservatives, or sugar, while others have serious TMJ problems that can make treatment a special challenge. All of these issues make dentistry an ideal arena for custom compounded medications.
Oral Ulcerations and Compounding
To clarify these benefits, let’s consider the treatment of oral ulcerations. These are something dentists treat every day. From the ordinary (but horribly uncomfortable) canker sore to ulcerations caused by diseases or compromised immune systems, these are often recurrent and always painful. They impede the patient’s everyday activities like drinking, eating, and even talking. Topical treatments with exact dosages fight inflammation, alleviate pain, and can sometimes cure ulcerations.
Oral ulcerations can be treated with a variety of topical compounds. Analgesics like lidocaine tetracaine, antihistamines like diphenhydramine, antifungals like clotrimazole, steroids like hydrocortisone, and antibiotics like tetracycline are all great topical options. Alcohol-free mouthwashes — important for patients with oral ulcerations — are also a compounding option. And hard candies, lip balms, lollipops, mucoadhesive anesthetic powders that form “bandages,” oral sprays, pastes, suspensions, and troches are all viable alternatives for dental use. These compounded treatments typically allow patients to have one individualized therapy made especially for them in place of painful injections or a number of pills in whatever dosages are commercially available.
Dental Compounding to Replace Medications No Longer Commercially Available
Dental compounding is particularly useful when dentists wish to treat patients with highly effective medications which were once commercially available but have become unavailable for reasons unrelated to safety. For example, certain kinds of oral ulcers can be treated with topical polyphenol sulfonic acid complex, also called Negatan. This was pulled from the market by the maker, but is extremely useful to dental practices, often providing relief after one treatment.
Dental Compounding for Any Application
Compounding treatments aren’t just for ulcers, of course. They can apply to anything a dentist treats with pharmaceuticals, including burning mouth syndrome (stomatodynia), dry mouth, dry sockets, gagging, gingivitis, gum disease, oral bleeding during and after dental procedures, oral lichen planus, oral thrush, pain relief, procedural anxiety, tender mucosa, and viral lesions. They can even be used to address endodontic root-canal irrigation and instrumentation, fluoride treatments, plaque removal, presurgical sedation and tooth preparation, and tooth whitening services.
For these reasons, many dental practices benefit from keeping certain preparations in stock. This is possible to do because they are shelf-stable and frequently used; this also keeps costs lower.
Topical Anesthetic Gel
Topical anesthetic gel is an excellent example of a very useful dental compound. Also known as profound numbing gel, it is compounded with lidocaine, prilocaine, and tetracaine. The use of this topical anesthetic gel allows dentists to perform various soft tissue procedures without lower blocks, which can be unpleasant for patients and have the side effect of numbness in the tongue and face. The gel can be compounded at full or half strength, and the full strength version can be made with more than one dosage level. This type of gel can also be compounded with phenylephrine, as well as sweeteners and/or thickeners to prevent bleeding.
This gel is also safe for those with methemoglobinemia (MHb); this is important because those with this potentially serious blood condition can have an adverse reaction to benzocaine that may lead to fatigue, nausea, and skin discoloration, and in rare cases even coma and death. This problem has almost always been linked to high-concentration doses of benzocaine; compounded topical anesthetics with low benzocaine concentrations or benzocaine-free topical anesthetics are indicated, including compounded topical combinations such as the one described above.
An Ideal Solution for Dental Practices
The nature of the problems and the wide varieties of patients that dentists treat make compounding an ideal solution for dental practices. Dental practitioners are better able to meet patient needs with compounded treatments, which can be derived from quality ingredients from a reliable provider.
Pharmaceutica North America is proud to be your trusted source for quality compounding ingredients for dental use. To enhance your treatment of various dental issues, please contact us today to discuss how your practice can offer more individualized options to patients.