How Long Does Dental Numbing Last?

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how long does dental numbing shots last

What is Dental Numbing?

Getting numb or numbness means a lack of feeling or sensation. This happens when a dentist uses an anesthetic medication near a bunch of nerves. This affects the synapses and then blocks sensation in that particular area. This helps dentists or doctors to carry out a particular treatment with the patient feeling insignificant or no pain. In dental numbing, the area to be treated by the dentist is numbed which may also numb the tongue, the roof of your mouth, nose, cheeks, and chin.

How Long Does Dental Numbing Last?

What to Expect when getting Dental Numbing?

Firstly, your medical history is checked to make sure that you don’t have any adversative reactions to local anesthesia. Then, a small amount of anesthetic medication or anesthetic gel will be placed on a cotton swab. The cotton swab will then be placed on the area where the anesthetic injection will be injected for a minute or two. This will numb the area to be injected to a notch, to make the final injection poke less painful. Depending on your dental treatment, your dentist may require multiple injections to make sure that all nerve stimuli are blocked around the area to be treated.

What is Novocaine?novocaine


Novocaine is a local anesthetic drug or medication, developed in 1905. Local anesthetics don’t make an individual lose consciousness, unlike general anesthesia. Novocaine may be used during various minor dental procedures such as when getting a filling for a tooth cavity or getting a wisdom tooth removal.

In recent years, Novocaine has been replaced by much newer and developed local anesthetics because their numbing effects last longer. Novocaine is still used during certain dental procedures at times.

What is Novocaine used for?novocaine

Novocaine is more generally used during various dental treatments or procedures. They are also used during some other minor procedures, some examples are as follows:

  • mole or wart removal
  • cataract removal
  • a biopsy
  • pacemaker insertion

How long does a Local Anesthetic last?

How long does dental numbing injection last? The time span in which it takes a dental numbing injection or a local anesthetic to wear off generally depends on the type of anesthetic used. In the case of dental procedures, the treated area may be numb for about 1-2 hours from the time of injection. The numbness slowly fades away as the blood flow carries the anesthetic away from the injected area to other parts as it slowly metabolizes.

how long does dental numbing injection last

How long does Novocaine last?

Novocaine is among the local anesthetics which have a very short time span it takes to wear off.  The effects of Novocaine do not last for a long time period as is it considered the shortest-acting injectable anesthetic. After Novocaine is injected, the patient may begin to start feeling numb after 5 to 10 minutes. The effect of Novocaine lasts for about 30-60 minutes. If it is injected alongside epinephrine or adrenaline, the effect may last for another 30 minutes, adding up to 90 minutes in total. Although, there are certain factors that may affect the time period it will take for the drug to wear off.  Some of which are as follows:

The dosage

The dosage will depend on the procedure being performed. The higher the dose of Novocaine the more elongated its numbing effect will be.

The patient

The anesthetic effects vary to some extent from individual-to-individual. Some people can be less sensitive to local anesthetics.


local anesthesia

Presence of infection

Anesthetic becomes less effective when injected into an already infected area. The infection may cause the tissue to be more acidic, and since local anesthetics are prone to pH levels they may not work as well. An already inflamed area may also reduce the effects of local anesthesia. This is why a higher dosage may need to be used for the anesthetic to work on an infected area in comparison to an uninfected area.

Use of epinephrine

The use of epinephrine causes blood vessels to get smaller. This reduces blood flow around the injected area and so keeps the anesthetic confined to that area for a longer time period. Epinephrine also helps in minimizes bleeding. How long do dental numbing shots last? If Novocaine is used with epinephrine, the effects last for about 90 minutes.

Effective Ways to Get Rid of Numbness

  • Compress and Massage Skin Gently
  • Keep Yourself active by walking , this would stimulate blood flow and help carry numbness away.
  • Take a nap to divert mind from the fact of numbness.
  • Go to doctor and ask for another injection to reverse the effect of anesthesia.

How long does dental anesthesia last?


Author Since:  September 18, 2018


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