Unlike condoms, which are made from latex, all dental local anesthetic cartridge plungers are manufactured from dry natural rubber, vulcanized at extremely high temperatures using triple valence bonding. The result is that there is no leaching of latex into the local anesthetic solution. Such impurities would be detected if they were present, through normal routine manufacturing checks. To date, there has never been a latex related allergic reaction reported to the FDA, directly associated with dental cartridge plungers. Latex sensitivity in a dental office is largely attributed to products manufactured using the wet rubber process.
Latex is a milky fluid that comes from the tropical rubber tree. Hundreds of everyday products contain latex. Repeated exposure to a protein in natural latex can make you more likely to develop a latex allergy which may have a genetic origen. In other words, one or both of your parents would also have been sensitive to that allergen. If your immune system detects the protein, a reaction usually start in minutes, thereby alerting the dentist. You could get a rash, asthma and in rare cases, anaphylactic shock from latex exposure.re.
However, anyone can develop an allergy to latex. The number of people who do is quite small considering the millions who are exposed every day to consumer products that contain natural rubber latex. Individuals with an increased risk are those who have spina bifida and have undergone numerous surgeries, those who are prone to any type of allergies, health care workers, rubber industry workers and others who have continuous contact with latex.
If you have had a prior allergic reaction to latex-containing objects, you should consult your physician who can try to determine the cause. Your physician also can determine the best strategy for dealing with a latex allergy. Until that is done, avoid contact with all latex products.
As a precaution you should inform your dental office staff so that your medical history can be updated and appropriate precautions can be taken before your next dental visit. However, as I mentioned the process of manufacturing dental cartridge plungers is unique and to date, to my knowledge, there has never been a latex related allergic reaction reported to the FDA, directly associated with dental cartridge plungers. Ref. West Pharmaceutical Services.
Comments to author. M.Sc. PharmD. CCPE
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