Oral Health

Updated 22 August 2013

Shortage of dental anaesthetic in SA

Dentists are worried about the shortage of a local anaesthetic, reports claim.

Dentists were concerned about the shortage of a local anaesthetic that had been used for decades and was safer for all patients, Beeld reported on Thursday.

Dr Koos Marais said he had been battling to obtain the product Scandonest 3%, a local anaesthetic without vasoconstrictors (a drug that causes narrowing of a blood vessel).

"I have only two weeks' supply left and suppliers say they can't get hold of it."

He said the shortage would force dentists to use other local drugs containing vasoconstrictors that posed a higher risk for weaker and older patients.

"Patients might experience palpitations, anxiety or fainting. In some cases it could have serious consequences such as heart attacks and cardiac arrest."

No alternative available

Marais reportedly said there was no good alternative available on the South African market.

"Many dentists will be afraid to speak up because they might frighten patients, but people's lives are at stake, there is no room for compromise," he was quoted as saying.

A spokesperson for importer and distributor Dental Warehouse, said current stock had been quarantined in their warehouse because the product had to be tested.

The manufacturer had changed the source from where the active ingredient was obtained. Tests had to be conducted to see if this product was of the same quality as previous stock.


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Dr Imraan Hoosen qualified from the Medical University of South Africa in 1997. Together with his partner, Dr Hoosen now runs a group of dental practices around Johannesburg (Lesedi Private Hospital, Highlands North Medical Centre , Brenthurst Clinic, Parklane Clinic, Simmonds Street Medical and Dental Centre, Soni Medical Centre- Newclare). Dr Hoosen can be contacted on 011 933 4096.

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