The Science of Buffering

Video: Learn More About The Science Of Buffering

Why Buffer Local Anesthetics?

Buffering anesthetics has been used in medical facilities for over 50 years, and now with the innovation of the Anutra Medical Delivery System® you can provide buffered anesthetic chairside.

Due to Lidocaine’s low pH, it can take a while to numb a patient. Along with the additional time, the drug creates a burning sensation. To neutralize the acid causing this burning sensation and to expedite the effectiveness of the drug, healthcare providers discovered mixing it with Sodium Bicarbonate (a neutral solution) would raise the pH to the body’s normal levels. This discovery is known as “buffering”.

Understanding Local Anesthetics

Unbuffered Lidocaine with Epinephrine

Lidocaine with Epinephrine is a local anesthetic commonly used by medical professionals. In order for it to be stabilized to ship, hydrochloric acid is added. In turn, this means that the solution being injected into a patient’s body is very acidic. Not only can this leave a burning or stinging sensation, it can take a good deal of time to numb the patient with a possibility that the patient may not even get numb the first time.


Buffered Lidocaine with Epinephrine

By adding sodium bicarbonate to lidocaine with epinephrine, a medical professional is able to reduce the amount of acidity found in unbuffered lidocaine. The result of buffering lidocaine with epinephrine can increase a clinician’s efficiency and can also reduce a patient’s pain. There is an increased likelihood that a patient will become numb more quickly and be numbed more deeply with buffered anesthetics.

Benefits of Buffering


Buffering can elevate the depth of anesthesia increasing the likelihood of patients getting numb the first time.


Buffered anesthetics can cross the nerve membrane more readily allowing a patient to become numb quickly.

Reduced Pain

Mixing anesthetic with sodium bicarbonate creates a bi-product of CO2 which by itself contains the ability to create a numbing effect.


of appointments were at least 15 minutes shorter than scheduled.

16.7 Minutes

is the average time saved per appointment (saves 2 hours per day)

1.81 out of 10

On a scale of 1-10, 1 being no pain and 10 being extreme pain.