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What Is My Dentist Using to Numb My Mouth?

Posted on 5/15/2016 by Thomas Mahar
A man about to receive a lidocaine injection.The field of dentistry has made major strides and improvement when it comes to keeping you comfortable during your procedure. While you are thankful that your dentist is able to use a numbing agent so that you don't feel anything during your filing or root canal, how much do you know about the medications that are being used?

Lidocaine is the Most Common Option

When it comes to local anesthetics, lidocaine is the one that your dentist will most commonly use, although there are a variety of others. This is despite popular belief that Novocain is what dentists utilize, as Novocain is actually no longer used in dental practices. There are many other drugs that are more effective, last longer, and are less likely to cause negative reactions than Novocain.

Other Substances Are Included in the Injection
The numbing drug isn't the only thing that will be injected in order to keep you comfortable. Most injections include multiple substances, some of which can include:

•  Vasoconstrictors to narrow the blood vessels and extending the effects of the numbing agent
•  Chemicals to extend the life of the vasoconstrictor
•  Sodium chloride to facilitate moving the drug into the bloodstream
•  Sodium hydroxide to help the numbing agent to work more effectively

Side Effects of Numbing Drugs

Fortunately, side effects associated with local anesthetics that are typically used in dental offices are quite rare. One possibility though, is known as a hematoma, which is a blood-filled swelling that can form when the needle makes contact with a blood vessel.

The numbing medication can also cause numbness in other areas, possibly causing drooping of the mouth or eyelids, but these effects should subside as soon as the drug wears off.

Even more uncommon, the needle could cause nerve damage, and if you are concerned about any of these potential side effects, be sure to contact our office today.

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