Dental Anesthesia: What You Need To Know

Your dentist may have to numb your mouth for a procedure like a filling or a root canal; nobody wants you to be in pain when you’re in the chair. To this end, dentists will often use a local anesthetic, typically lidocaine, in order to eliminate the pain from the procedure. Anesthetic can be a bit intimidating for some patients, but knowledge is the enemy of fear; knowing about how the anesthetic works can alleviate your worries.

There are two types of anesthetic; the most commonly used in dentistry is a local anesthetic, which dulls and eliminates pain in the mouth while the patient remains awake. General anesthetic, which induces unconsciousness and dulls pain through the whole body, may be used for procedures like removing wisdom teeth. This blog will be focused on local anesthetic, since it’s more commonly used.

When applying local anesthetic, your gum will be swabbed with a cotton ball in order to dry it; a numbing gel will also be used, to reduce the pain from the needle. You might still feel a sting when the anesthetic is injected, but it’s not usually the needle causing the pain; rather, it’s the feeling of the lidocaine entering the gums that causes the sensation. In short order, your mouth will be numb. Once the procedure is over, your mouth is likely to remain numb for some time; be careful when you eat, drink and talk. The numbness in your mouth means you might bite your cheek or gum without noticing; avoiding food and drink immediately after a procedure can be a good way to avoid this problem. Don’t worry if liquid dribbles out of your mouth; just keep a cloth handy and you’ll be fine in no time.

Individuals who are concerned about anesthetic might wonder about the common side effects from the procedure. Fortunately, lidocaine is generally quite safe; that’s why it’s so commonly used! You’ll almost certainly experience some numbness and tingling after the procedure, and you might experience a bit of pain around the injection site; these side effects are common, so don’t fret. Uncommonly, allergic reactions can occur; hives, tightness in the throat and swelling should be treated as potential medical emergencies in case they grow more severe. Other side effects include anxiety and increased heart rate; talk to your dentist immediately if these conditions are occurring. The procedure might cause numbness outside of the localized area; dropping in the eyelids and other facial features should subside once the anesthetic wears off. If a blood vessel or nerve is hit, temporary damage may occur, but it should heal up over time.

The best Winnipeg dentist will be a master of local anesthetic; they’ll be able to reduce pain to almost nothing, and they’ll be hyper-aware of the possible side effects of any drug they apply. With modern dentistry, you’re in good hands, so don’t let fear get in the way of what could be a life-changing dental procedure.