‘Since Goliad Dental tends to get a lot of regular patients who stay with us for years and years, we like to pay attention to their teeth over the course of our professional relationship—if you’ve been coming to Goliad Dental since you were a kid, we probably remember the time you came to fix a […]
One thing that’s sort of funny about seeing regular patients over the years is their nervousness about anesthesia. You might be too young to remember Bill Cosby’s hilarious routine about the dentist (or maybe you do remember), but the first time people get a little slurry because of some lidocaine prior to fixing a cavity, we still chuckle a little bit. And why not? Anesthetics might leave your face temporarily numb, but they’re nothing serious or worth worrying about.
If you’ve never had local anesthesia during a dental procedure, the most common technique involves injecting your inferior alveolar nerve (a “sweet spot” nerve that numbs the teeth, gums, tongue and lower lip of your lower jawbone) with a local anesthetic like lidocaine, articaine or septocaine. You’ll feel a bit of discomfort from the needle, but the effect is quick, and soon you won’t feel anything but pressure as the dentist gets to work. Sometimes, a dentist will apply a topical anesthetic either in place of the injection or prior to it. Usually, a cotton piece dabbed with benzocaine is used. Following the procedure, you’ll continue to experience numbness in your mouth and lower face for a couple hours—some people drool a little bit, so you might want to keep a napkin handy. And if you do get a topical anesthetic, be sure to remove all the cotton chunks; sometimes a numbed cheek doesn’t tell you there’s still a piece left in there, and biting into cotton is an unpleasant thing to experience.’