Classification of Desensitizing Agents used in management of Dentin Hypersensitivity

Dentinal Hypersensitivity is one of the most common condition for which a patient visits a Dental clinic for, the most common cause of Hypersensitivity is exposed dentinal surfaces which can be due to many reasons. Although Hypersensitivity is seen more in elder patients due to their age related loss of Enamel surface, it can affect patients from any age group. For the treatment of Dentinal Hypersensitivity the most important aspect is to identify the causative factors and removing those etiological factors.

There two types of Desensitizing agents which help in treating Dentin Hypersensitivity – At Home, and In Office treatments. The mode of treatment plan is decided based on the extent of the loss of Enamel, if it is marginal then at Home treatment like prescribing Oral Gel or Toothpaste containing Desensitizing agents are given. In cases of moderate to severe conditions, In Office Application of Desensitizing agents is done.

Use of Lasers to treat Dentinal hypersensitivity

Classification of Desensitizing Agents based on their Mechanism of Action:

Nerve Desensitization: These substances act on the nerve endings and desensitize them relieving sensitivity.

  • Potassium Nitrate

Dentin tubules plugging: These agents physically plug or close the open Dentinal tubules which prevent the effect of external stimuli from affecting the Dentin. It also prevents the effect of thermal changes or physical stimuli caused by the movement of dentin fluid resulting from pressure changes. This can either require professional application in a Dental clinic or at home application.

  • Sodium Chloride
  • Stannous fluoride
  • Strontium chloride
  • Potassium oxalate
  • Calcium phosphate
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Bioactive glasses

Protein precipitation: These protein precipitants

  • Gluteraldehyde
  • Zinc Chloride
  • Silver Nitrate
  • Strontium chloride hexahydrate

Dentin Adhesive sealers:

  • Fluoride Varnishes
  • Oxalic acid and resin
  • Glass Ionomer cements
  • Composites
  • Dentin bonding agents

Lasers: Treatment of Dentin Hypersensitivity by Lasers

  • Neodymium:yttrium aluminum garnet (Nd:YAG) laser
  • Gallium-aluminum-arsenide (GaAIAs) laser
  • Erbium-YAG laser

Homeopathic Medication:

  • Propolis

In certain conditions where Extensive loss of Enamel and Dentin is present, topical application of Desensitizing agent might not be helpful and aggressive treatment like Restorations, Crowns or Root Canal treatment is required.

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