Dental Insider Blog

Observation and Commentary On the Dental Industry

Anesthetic Shortage Update – January 2007

Posted by dentalinsider on January 18, 2007

The dental industry is currently facing an anesthetic shortage. In early 2006, Abbott Labs ceased making anesthetic products. From what I can gather, Abbott Labs needed to upgrade their facility, and they were unwilling to make the investment. That leaves Novocol (a Canadian subsidiary of Septodont) as the only manufacturer of anesthetic products. As I am hearing from my contacts at both Eastman Kodak and Septodont, Novovol is working around the clock to produce anesthetic and are rotating allotments between Eastman Kodak, Septodont and all of the generic anesthetic distributors. Since there is still only one manufacturer, who cant seem to make enough to keep up, I don’t foresee this situation getting better anytime soon. I will be curious to see when Onex Corp takes over the Health Imaging division if things get better.

So where does that leave distributors and end users?

I spoke with 3 distributors this week and they all tell me that while the supply on the shelves is getting thin, they have been assured that both Eastman Kodak and Septodont will do their best to make sure they get something on the next allotment. All 3 also said that they are limiting the number of boxes per week to the end user and are not taking orders for anesthetic from non-customers at this time.

As for the dental office…This is not a time to panic, be smart with your anesthetic and try not to waste any. Eastman Kodak and Septodont are doing everything in their power to keep anesthetic on the shelves at your dental dealer. These are the tentative dates for anesthetic delivery as told to me by Eastman Kodak and Septodont.

Lidocaine Red – End of January
Carbocaine 2 & 3% – Mid February
Marcaine – Mid February

Octocaine Red – Mid February
Lignospan – Mid February
Scandonest – Mid February
Septocaine – Available Now


An after thought…To Eastmak Kodak and Septodont….put something on your websites to let the dental community know what is going on with the anesthetics. It is your responsibility to inform the end users.



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