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How Long Will Numbness Last After my Dental Appointment?

June 20, 2018

Woman holding cold compress to face following dental treatmentIn order to ensure patient comfort, the dentist will likely use Novocain as a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. Following dental care using Novocain, patients typically remain numb for 30 to 60 minutes. However, depending on the extent of numbing, your individual response, and a number of other factors, you may remain numb for much longer. In this post, we’ll review some of the factors that influence the amount of time patients remain numb following treatment with Novocain local anesthetic.

Factors that Effect Numbness

While most patients have completely recovered from numbing within an hour, there are a number of factors that may increase recovery time, including:

  • Treatment length – when the mouth is kept numb for an extensive time period, it may take longer for the numbness to wear off.
  • Dosage – patients who need treatment focused on repairing just one tooth will likely recover more quickly than those patients who need treatment across their smile who will receive higher doses of Novocain.
  • Individual response – every patient is different, and everyone responds differently to medicines like Novocain. Knowing your own body’s typical response to these medications can be important.
  • Infection – when injected into infected tissue, Novocain is less effective, so the dentist will need to use a higher dosage, which will likely lead to longer recovery time.
  • Epinephrine – this medication is commonly used during dental treatments to reduce bleeding, but it can also cause the Novocain to remain in the injection site for longer.

Risks & Side Effects to Look Out For

If your mouth remains numb for longer than an hour after Novocain administration, this is not necessarily a bad sign. However, you should contact the dentist right away if you notice any of the following warning signs of concern while you recover from numbing:

  • Pain or sensitivity around the treatment site
  • Twitching muscles
  • Drowsiness
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Tingling

Meet Dr. Boyd

Caring Fort Worth dentist, John G. Boyd, DDS, is dedicated to patient comfort. He works hard to help patients get the dentistry services they need without any pain or stress. He utilizes Novocain local anesthetic to keep the treatment area numb. He can also offer dental sedation options for those patients with severe dental phobia or anxiety as well as those who need complex treatments like implant supported tooth replacement. If you’d like to find out more about any of the preventive, restorative, and cosmetic dentistry services available from the dedicated dentist and dentistry team at, West 7th Smiles, call our team to schedule an appointment today. We look forward to seeing you soon.

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