3-23. DESENSITIZING AGENTS
a. Definition. Desensitizing agents are defined as drugs that alleviate painful
sensations that sometimes occur in exposed dentin and cementum.
b. Types of Desensitizing Agents.
(1) Fluoride. Fluoride (in the form of sodium fluoride, stannous fluoride,
acidulated-phosphate fluoride, and so forth) is used in many preparations. Preparations include
toothpaste, mouth rinse, topical gel, restorative materials, and many others. Fluoride is
used in the treatment of hypersensitive dentin in the cervical areas of the tooth.
(2) Oxalates and varnishes. These materials can be used as liners under
restorations. Both materials plug dentin tubules to prevent dentin sensitivity.
(3) Bonding resins and dentin adhesives. With the newer systems
becoming more adherent to dentin, these materials have become very popular. Resins
and adhesives are now designed to flow into dentin tubules to seal the dentin surface
when they are set.
3-24. FLUORIDE COMPOUNDS
The effectiveness of fluoride compounds in lowering the incidence of dental
caries is of utmost importance in the field of dental health. A reduction of dental caries
is obtained by adding fluorides to the community water supply, by administering
supplemental systemic fluorides, and by applying topical fluorides directly to tooth
Hemostatics are agents that control bleeding.
a. Absorbable Gelatin Sponge (Gelfoam). When this material is implanted in
tissues, it promotes the disruption of platelets and acts as a framework for fibrin strands.
It is used primarily to control capillary bleeding from within extraction sockets.
b. Epinephrine. This is an effective topical hemostatic agent for capillary
bleeding. It is sometimes used in periodontal surgery in conjunction with a local
anesthetic to reduce blood loss.
c. Oxidized Regenerated Cellulose (Surgicel). This is a topical hemostatic
agent used to control moderate bleeding.