Local Anesthesia

Depending on the procedure being performed, your dentist may need to numb a portion of your mouth so you don’t feel any pain. A local anesthesia medicine will be injected into your gum or inner cheek.
To receive a local anesthesia injection, your dentist will use air or cotton to dry that part of your mouth. Then he or she will swab the area with gel, which numbs the skin, so you will hardly feel the injection point. The local anesthetic is injected slowly, which sometimes causes a slight stinging sensation as the medicine moves into the tissue.

Your dentist may numb an entire region of your mouth like your lower jaw (block injection) or just a smaller area near where injection was received (infiltration injection).


Novocain is the classic numbing drug, however Lidocaine is the  most common modern anesthetic used today. The liquid injected may also include drugs or chemicals that help the anesthetic enter your bloodstream and last longer.


Side Effects
Local anesthesia can last up to several hours, making it difficult to eat, drink, or speak clearly during that time. Biting the numb area can cause you to hurt yourself without even realizing it. Additional side effects are minimal and rare:

  • Numbing may cause your eyelid or mouth to droop, but this recovers when the drug wears off.
  • If blinking becomes impossible, you may need to tape your eye shut for a couple of hours until the numbness is reduced.
  • A blood-filled swelling, called an oral hematoma, can form when the needle hits a blood vessel.
  • Some patients report their heart beating faster for a minute or two.
  • If the needle injures a nerve, you could have numbness or pain for several weeks to months, but it usually heals over time.
  • Allergic reactions are rare.

Despite the anesthetic preventing you from feeling pain, it’s still possible to feel pressure while your dentist works. If this causes too much anxiety, a sedative or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) can be administered to calm your nerves. It’s important to communicate your needs and concerns to your dentist.


If you have questions or concerns about receiving anesthesia, please contact Dr. Arhiri at Premier Smiles Dental Spa. We’ll happily accommodate you however you’e most comfortable. Our goal is to make your dental appointment as serene as possible. Call 610.647.7611 or email drarhiri@premiersmilespa.com today!

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