Modeling the Flow and Diffusion of Lidocaine Through Tooth and Gum
Bernardis, Sarah; Iyer, Shama; Munson, Amy; Pandya, Jui
The movement of anesthesia around and through the tooth and gum was modeled in order to design a novel procedure to effectively anesthetize a single tooth with minimal side effects. This model includes the injection of lidocaine into the gum near the tooth, and the ensuing diffusion of anesthesia through the tooth and gum. The geometry of the tooth and gum has been drawn in two dimensions in COMSOL. The Brinkman’s equations were used to model the fluid flow resulting from the initial injection through the porous media, and the mass transfer equation was used to model how the anesthesia flows through the tooth and gum after the completion of the injection through the coupling of the velocities calculated by the Brinkman’s equations. The concentration of anesthesia in this region was calculated, in order to determine the amount of time the tooth is numb and the distance the anesthesia has travelled. The model showed that the optimum procedure for numbing the tooth has a long injection time of five minutes dispensing lidocaine at a slower velocity, specifically 0.018 mol/m3. This is an important process to model because with the longer injection time the patient’s discomfort can be decreased, numbness can be quickly achieved and anesthesia can last for the entirety of an average dental procedure protecting the patient from unnecessary pain.