Aim: To present 3 unusual cases of transient extraocular muscle palsy following local dental anaesthesia for fillings or extraction of the upper fifth, sixth and/or seventh molars.
Method: Three cases are reported that presented to the Orthoptic Department with extraocular muscle palsy which occurred immediately following local anaesthesia for dental treatment.
Results: Two patients subsequently fully recovered and one was left with a slight superior oblique weakness. The result in this last case is thought not to have been caused by the local dental anaesthesia hut by a longstanding weakness which seems to have been decompensated by the injection of the anaesthetic.
Conclusion: Transient muscle palsies linked to local dental anaesthesia may be common, but as they are so short-lived they do not present to the Orthoptic Department. Possible causes for the findings in these cases are discussed and the favoured aetiological hypothesis is stated.