New survey finds patients would pay more for less pain

For a less painful dental injection, 70% of dental patients would pay more for themselves and 90% would pay more for a loved one, a new Balanced pHarma survey found. The survey, published earlier this week by dental pharmaceutical company Balanced pHarma, asked dozens of dental patients about their experiences with dental procedures and whether they’d be willing to pay extra for less painful injections.

More than 7 in 10 patients would be willing to pay that extra cost if their dentists used a faster, less painful local anesthetic, the survey found. More than half were willing to pay at least 10% more for the procedure.

Respondents were even more concerned about injection pain when asked about a child or loved one, with 9 out of 10 patients willing to pay extra and three-fourths willing to pay at least 10% more for the procedure, the survey found.

”The survey responses were a wonderful reminder of just how much people care about others,” said Dr. Scott Keadle, chief medical officer at Balanced pHarma. “Clearly, people want dental injections to be less painful, but they really want their loved ones to have less painful injections.”

A majority of patients reported that painful injections were the thing they feared most about a dental visit, which could be why more than one-third said they would switch dentists to find one that offered a less painful anesthetic option.

“These survey findings show that dental practices might be able to help patients and save time by offering a buffered local anesthetic,” Keadle said.

The survey also found that fear of injections kept 12% of patients from visiting the dentist as often as they should, and a painless injection was a “must-have when selecting a dentist” for 47% of respondents.

The survey makes it clear that a large majority of dental patients want a less painful injection, and buffered anesthetics offer one way to achieve this, according to Balanced pHarma. Research shows that neutralizing the acidity of local anesthetics (buffering) makes the pH-balanced drug less toxic, less painful, faster-acting, and more likely to be successful anesthesia than conventional injections, a statement from Balanced pHarma read.

In addition, pH-balanced anesthetics can offer more efficiency for dental service providers, and could even increase productivity by 12%, Balanced pHarma found.

“pH-balanced anesthetics not only help patients survive the injection, but they also give clinicians a faster-acting and more reliable drug that increases productivity,” Keadle said.

The survey was conducted in May 2020 and included an informal online survey of 92 dental patients. For more information, visit