Objective: The maxillary (or second division) nerve block is an effective method of achieving profound anesthesia of a hemimaxilla. This block can be used for procedures involving the maxillary sinus, including the maxillary sinus elevation procedure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate a computer-controlled anesthetic delivery system (Wand) for maxillary nerve block injection to attain maxillary sinus anesthesia for sinus floor elevation procedure.
Method and materials: The study population consisted of 61 healthy adult patients, ranging in age from 40 to 72 years (mean 45 years), who received 76 maxillary nerve blocks (17 having both right and left maxillary blocks) by means of the Wand system via the greater palatine nerve approach, for sinus floor elevation procedure. Two patients (3%) were excluded from the study due to the inability to negotiate the greater palatine foramen. For each block, two cartridges of 2% lidocaine hydrochloride with adrenaline (1:100,000) were administered, using a 27-gauge--long needle. After ensuring the anesthetized areas (waiting time 2.5 minutes), the sinus elevation procedure was performed. Parameters recorded were the success or failure of anesthesia, positive (blood) aspiration, bony obstructions in the greater palatine canal, and complications.
Results: The use of this technique increased the ability to more easily locate the greater palatine foramen. A local infiltration (at the incisor region) was needed in 13 (17%) of the blocks, and seven (9.2%) sites required an extra infraorbital block injection in addition to the maxillary nerve block. One block had a positive aspiration. There were no bony obstructions demonstrated in the canal interfering with the injection, and no complications were recorded.
Conclusion: The Wand appears to offer a number of advantages over the hand-held syringe when the greater palatine block technique for the maxillary nerve block is used. It is suggested that, when indicated, and with the required knowledge and respect for the associated anatomy, this technique should be considered with greater ease and more confidence.