Dentists’ perceptions of a new local anaesthetic drug – articaine


Dr Kehn Yapp
Postgraduate Endodontics
Melbourne Dental School
The University of Melbourne
5th Floor, 720 Swanston StCarlton VIC 3053


Background:  Articaine is a new local anaesthetic drug introduced to the Australian dental market. The aim of this study was to elicit information regarding the use of articaine in Australia, and factors that influence attitudes towards adoption of new technology.

Methods:  A self-administered postal questionnaire was sent to a stratified systematic sample of dentists who were members of the Australian Dental Association, with questions regarding details about articaine use and how influences such as education and scientific literature affect their adoption of new technology.

Results:  Of the sample, 53% responded and over 70% of dentists surveyed used articaine, with 95% and 97% of respondents identifying scientific literature and continuing professional development courses respectively as influencing factors in their adoption of new technology. The most common reason for not using articaine was no perceived advantage and the most influential factor that would encourage non-users to start using articaine was a scientifically proven advantage. Senior clinicians, specialists and public sector dentists were less likely to use articaine.

Conclusions:  A majority of Australian dentists were using articaine and cited continuing professional development courses, scientific literature and anecdotal peer reports as being influential in their adoption of new technology.