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Local anesthetic type and dose question

Susanne

Susanne

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Aug 13, 2014
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What is the most commonly used anesthetic/numbing agent for dental procedures? How long after the injection does it take to go into effect and how long does the numbness last? Is the dose used different for a root canal of one of the back molars vs. removal of a wisdom tooth?
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Hi Susanne,

as far as I know, the most used is Lidocaine (UK) and Aricaine (Europe). Not sure what gets used in US. It goes into effect immediately and after 5-10 minutes all the needed area should be covered. I think the numbness usually lasts between 2 and 4 hours, this might be very individual and even depending on which area was numbed. There are also anesthetics that wear off more quickly I think. Not sure about the variation of a dose but for some procedures there are different techniques needed.

I am not a dentist so take this as a first aid information and hopefully one of our dentists replies soon. :)
 
Susanne

Susanne

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Thank you, Enarete. I’ve read others’ accounts of their wisdom teeth removal experiences and many of them are rather unsettling. They’ve mentioned having multiple injections - many more than the 2-3 at most I’ve had for a root canal - and also said the needle/syringe used was quite large. Not what I want to hear when I’m trying very hard to work up the courage to have mine removed.:(
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Sorry to hear you are struggling so much with this. Needles are a big one and something that worries even people who wouldn't label themselves as phobic.

If you get your wisdoms out, then every one of them need so get anesthetized. This shouldn't be bad news as a skilled dentist will be able to do this gently and in a way that you won't notice how many times or which places exactly were covered.

The syringe used at the dentist looks a bit different than the usual ones you know from GP etc. The unfamiliarity with it makes people get more scared if they spot it. A sensitive dentist will know it and make sure to handle it silently and discretely in order not to scare you half to death.
The needles may seem a bit longer than you would hope - just think of how far in the back of your mouth your back teeth are, you would want a dentist to reach the needed spot easily, for the comfort of both of you.

Do you have a dentist you feel happy with? It is always a good idea to let your dentist know what scares you (either personally at a consult appointment or via letter or email if you wouldn't feel comfortable to talk about it in person) and if you have insecurities or questions, s/he should be happy to give you some explanations and put you at ease.

You didn't mention what exactly it is that scares you about the anesthetics, but you might find some useful information here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/needle-phobia/
Here is also something The Wand, an alternative to the usual way of anesthesia:
https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/help/technology/wand/
 
Last edited:
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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I think also, no matter how long or many if they can do the first one in each area very slowly with topical that should make things quite a bit more tolerable as well.. I know I was really worried when recently went to specialist for root canal and didn't know how he'd be with the shots and I explained my fears and told him to please go very slowly like my dentist does.. and he was very thoughtful in this and I barely felt the initial poke and one more, but he gave me several to make me numb enough.. I really encourage you to communicate your needs and fears on this before they take hold of the needle as Enarete said let them know what scares you .
 
M

MountainMama

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Thank you, Enarete. I’ve read others’ accounts of their wisdom teeth removal experiences and many of them are rather unsettling. They’ve mentioned having multiple injections - many more than the 2-3 at most I’ve had for a root canal - and also said the needle/syringe used was quite large. Not what I want to hear when I’m trying very hard to work up the courage to have mine removed.:(
I have a phobia with needles, and also have the unfortunate issue where I don't numb easily. It always takes more than 1 or 2 shots to get me numb. In my past experiences, dentists didn't use a topical numbing agent first, which intensified my fear. My new dentist numbs the area first, then gives the shots.

I will say that after they give the first two, if any others are required, I am usually numb enough that they are not too painful.

I never look at the needles, either.
 
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