We’ve all heard that lidocaine buffered with sodium bicarbonate makes the local anesthetic closer to physiologic pH. This in turn decreases time of onset and infiltration pain. However, upon further investigation, this may not be so true.
Hobeich et al. concluded that 2% lidocaine with epinephrine buffered with 5% or 10% sodium bicarbonate did not significantly decrease time to anesthetic onset and infiltration pain when compared to nonbuffered solution.