Introduction: The first ophthalmologic complication in conjunction with a dental anesthesia was reported in 1936. The objective of the present study was a detailed analysis of case reports about that topic.
Material and methods: After conducting a literature search in PubMed this study analyzed 108 ophthalmologic complications following intraoral local anesthesia in 65 case reports with respect to patient-, anesthesia-, and complication- related factors.
Results: The mean age of the patients was 33.8 years and females predominated (72.3%). The most commonly reported complication was diplopia (39.8%), mostly resulting from paralysis of the lateral rectus muscle. Other relatively frequent complications included ptosis (16.7%), mydriasis (14.8%) and amaurosis (13%). Ophthalmologic complications were mainly associated with block anesthesia of the inferior alveolar nerve (45.8%) or the posterior superior alveolar nerve (40.3%). Typically, the ophthalmologic complications in conjunction with intraoral local anesthesia had an immediate to short onset, and disappeared as the anesthesia subsided.
Discussion and conclusion: The increased number of ophthalmologic complications after intraoral local anesthesia in females may suggest a gender effect. Double vision (diplopia) is the most frequently described complication, which is usually completely reversible like the other reported ophthalmologic complications.