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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Allergies

07/06/2010

Question:

My son is severely allergic to eggs, milk, nuts, seafood and several others. As recommended by our dentist, he is need of some dental work mainly for cavities. Will it be safe for him to be injected with either articaine/carbocaine?? What about the filling also?? We are concerned mainly with the ingredients and contents of the anesthetic and products used. Thank you

Answer:

The food allergies should not be an issue with local anesthetics.  Of course, with a child allergic to a number of things, he may be allergic to the local anesthetic, as he might be to an antibiotic.  Fortunately, local anesthetic allergy is very, very uncommon and much less common that antibiotics, for instance.  

The one ingredient that may be an issue is metabisulfite which is added to local anesthetics that contain epinephrine.  If your child has a known sulfite allergy, this could be a problem.  It likely would not be an issue but it is possible.  If you know your child has this allergy, you can ask you dentist to supply you with a local anesthetic cartridge that you can take to your son's allergist for skin testing.  Sulfite and metabisulfite are different and there may not be an issue with this.  If your son has used an EpiPen in the past, it also contained metabisulfite so this can help you make a decision.  

Good luck.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University