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Fort Collins Dentist Hopes To Take Needles Out Of Numbness

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Kovacaine (credit: CBS)

Kovacaine (credit: CBS)

FORT COLLINS, Colo. (CBS4) – Imagine numbing your teeth for dental work without a needle. A Colorado company is a year away from marketing a nasal mist that would do just that.

For those who fear the dentist, it could be a pain free solution for their upper teeth, and it would put a Fort Collins company on the map.

“It’s pretty easy, it doesn’t hurt,” Fort Collins dentist Dr. Mark Kollar said.

Forget that stinging shot. It’s a fearless way to face the dentist. Kollar demonstrated to CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh how the new nasal mist works. He calls it Kovacaine.

“One, two, (spray), and that’s it,” Kollar said.

The needle-free anesthesia was discovered by Kollar. In 2000 he got hit in the face in a basketball game.

“I had my nose sprayed with an anesthetic by an EMT and my teeth got numb,” he said.

Intrigued, the dentist went back to his office and did a test.

“I put the probe through the nerve bundle through my upper jaw quite a ways and I didn’t feel any pain,” Kollar said.

That “eureka” moment prompted Kollar to co-found a company he named St. Renatus LLC, after the patron saint of anesthesia.

The nasal mist was modified. It is odorless and tasteless.

“In our particular case the teeth get numb but the face doesn’t get numb.”

Now the mist will be tested on about 300 patients.

St. Renatus recently got a financial shot in the arm — an “angel” investment — up to $3.5 million to complete clinical trials, and then submit an application to the Food and Drug Administration.

The hope is for a heavenly outcome.

“This process will shortcut all of the fears and the things that help prevent people from coming to the dentist,” Kollar said. “It’ll be fun to see how this affects millions and millions of people.”

The company stands to make millions and more.

From dentistry to other applications, there are plenty of ideas for the numbing mist. Look for it in 2013.

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