Numbing (Local Anesthesia)

Comfortable dentistry.

A dentist is able to numb a region of the mouth with dental local anesthesia. An injectable solution is used prior to procedures to remove any pain from the dentistry.

Local anesthesia is required before most invasive dental procedures, such as a dental filling, crown preparation, extraction, gum surgery, etc. If dental treatment is superficial or if a tooth has previously had a root canal, local anesthesia may not be necessary. It is important to note that dental local anesthesia does not remove the sensation of touch or pressure from a dental procedure.

A dental syringe is used to deposit the local anesthetic solution. The syringe is equipped with a type of anesthetic (Xylocaine/Lidocaine, Septocaine/Articaine, Carbocaine/Mepivicaine) and a dental needle.

Listed here is some important information about proper dental local anesthesia delivery:

  • Medical history and treatment is reviewed.
  • Dental syringe is prepared according to medical status and procedure.
  • Topical gel anesthesia is used to prepare the desired area. This dental numbing jelly acts to minimize the discomfort of dental injections.
  • Local anesthesia is slowly deposited to the desired location. This feeling is most often described as a “pinch.”
  • Maxillary (upper) teeth- Anesthesia is deposited near the tooth root. Generally, only a single tooth and adjacent gums and lip area become numb.
  • Mandibular (lower) teeth- Anesthesia is deposited in the inner portion of the jaw, behind the teeth. Typically, the chin, gums, the lower lip, tongue and teeth to one side of the jaw become numb.
  • Waiting period for profound numbing. Complete dental numbing is often described as a “heavy, sleepy” feeling.
  • For lower teeth a dentist should wait about 5 minutes before beginning a dental procedure. Upper teeth become numb sooner.
  • Procedure is performed without pain reception.

Dental anesthesia numbing effects may last anywhere from 2-7 hours. This depends on many factors including the medical history of the patient, the type anesthesia used, the quantity of anesthesia used, and more.

Ask your dentist any specific questions you may have about Manhattan Dentists’ comfortable dental injections and local anesthesia techniques.