By The Numbers: Articaine Vs. Lidocaine

By the numbers articaine vs lidocaineLocal anesthetics are among the most commonly administered drugs in clinical dentistry. Articaine and Lidocaine, two of the most popular types, may sound similar, but there are key differences in their chemical makeups. Understanding these differences can help guide you when choosing the safest and most effective anesthetic for your practice. And, when it comes to patient experience and comfort, what could be more important? To better understand the specifics on how they vary, we have put together an illustrated diagram that – unlike Articaine or Lidocaine – is anything but numbing!

articaine vs lidocaine local aneesthetic infographic[Click image for full-size version]


Orabloc is an anesthetic indicated for local, infiltrative, or conductive anesthesia in both simple and complex dental procedures. It is made by Pierrel, a company that has been manufacturing local anesthetics for over 40 years, and it is the only aseptically manufactured Articaine in the US.

Orabloc Product Packaging ImageOrabloc 4% Articaine HCl with Epinephrine – Shop


  • CLICK HERE to view a clinical PDF which shares in greater depth how Articane and Lindocaines’s chemical properties can impact your clinical use.
  • CLICK HERE to be redirected to a detailed 7 minute video by Orabloc, which explains the key differences between Articane and Lidocaine.
  • CLICK HERE for the complete product specifications, advantages, and risks of Orabloc.

Hopefully our comparative graphic, along with these supplemental resources, will help you feel more confident when selecting the most suitable anesthetic for your practice’s needs. Please feel free to leave comments and questions below!

8 thoughts on “By The Numbers: Articaine Vs. Lidocaine

  1. Has anyone had a problem with articaine used with IA blocks or palatal injections? We problems with 2 different patients. One patient experienced numbness for several months following a lower right block with articaine. One patient had an area of necrosis of the hard palate after receiving a palatal injection of articaine. These incidents scared me into only using lidocaine. Both patients 40-50 year old range with no known health problems. I would appreciate a reply please.
    Thank you,
    Nancy Eubanks RDH

    1. Hi Nancy, thank you for reading and commenting!

      The condition you’re describing is called Paresthesia. A controlled study conducted by Dr. Stanley Malamed concluded that there is no statistically significant difference between Articaine and Lidocaine when it comes to the incidence of Paresthesia.

      This sounds like a topic you may be keenly interested in exploring further, and luckily there are some awesome (and free!) in-depth continuing education materials available on this matter:

      Here is a link to one course, which can either be downloaded or viewed as a PDF:

      And here is one more:

      We sincerely hope that you find these resources helpful, and please do let us know if there’s anything else we can assist you with!

    2. I stopped using it for IA blocks after two patients stayed numb for 3 & 4 days.It only took two incidences to not want a third.

  2. I would not recommend artiCaine for a block. it’s documented as such. also another difference is soft tissue necrosis

    1. I have used septocaine exclusively for the last ten years without incident on any IA blocks.

      Our colleagues in Canada have no such warnings regarding IA blocks.

      No issues of parethesia or tissue necrosis.

  3. Articaine is used by 95% of the dental profession in Germany and also has a high market share in the rest of Europe. I have used Articaine for over 30 years with not one incident. 85 % of the parethesia is from the lingual nerve. You have a better chance of paresthesia if you practice in Ontario , Canada. The evidence of parethesia is anecdotal as there is no good evidence for parethesia being more common using Articaine. This anesthetic is just too good and safe not to use. It has only been available in the US since 2001 or so. I use it for blocks and will continue to. It is the best out there.

  4. After using Articaine, I also had a problem with an inferior alveolar nerve block resulting in a permanent anesthesia of the lingual nerve, causing loss of sensation and taste on one side. Yes, permanent! After researching this, the issue is that 4% solutions are more toxic than 3% or 2% solutions. Lidocaine is 2% and is much safer than the other concentrations. Although Articaine is a good anesthetic, if it is used, I would limit it to Maxillary infiltrations. We all struggle with profound, 100% anesthesia from time to time. Articaine is not the answer. Go with safety first, deal with the difficulty of profound anesthesia another way.

  5. I have used Articaine since it was introduced in the early 2000s in the US. I studied anesthesia under Dr. Stanley Malamed one of the leading researchers/sources of dental anesthesia. I have used Articaine EXCLUSIVELY (except on pediatric cases) for over 15 years. I have had a number of paresthesias NONE of which were permanent although a couple lasted over 3 months. Articaine is more neurotoxic than lidocaine hence the likely cause of this issue. I do a lot of surgery and I need patients to be profoundly numb without having to worry about re-anesthetizing in the middle of a procedure. Physical disruption of the nerve even with a dry needle would/could cause a paresthesia although presumably the duration should be reduced. It is scary when it happens and close follow up with the patients and a LOT of re-assurance will get you through it. In my opinion the benefits (for me in my practice) outweigh the risks in its use. There is NO published report of a PERMANENT paresthesia using Articaine. Obviously, we all have to determine how we practice

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