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Dent Clin North Am. 2010 Oct;54(4):665-75. doi: 10.1016/j.cden.2010.06.007. Epub 2010 Aug 7.

Acquired methemoglobinemia revisited.

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Department of Dental Anesthesiology, Loma Linda University School of Dentistry, Loma Linda, CA 92350, USA.


Dentistry has two medications in its pain management armamentarium that may cause the potentially life-threatening disorder methemoglobinemia. The first medications are the topical local anesthetics benzocaine and prilocaine. The second medication is the injectable local anesthetic prilocaine. Acquired methemoglobinemia remains a source of morbidity and mortality in dental and medical patients despite the fact that it is better understood now than it was even a decade ago. It is in the interest of all dental patients that their treating dentists review this disorder. The safety of dental patients mandates professional awareness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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