You know the feeling — you just had your appointment, and your dentist in Tuscaloosa used novocaine to help make your treatment more comfortable. But now that you’re out of the chair and back at work, you can’t talk correctly, every time you take a sip of water it drips down your face, and you certainly can’t smile fully when half of your face is numb. Don’t worry, there are a few ways you can make the effects of novocaine wear off fast.
How Does Novocaine Work?
Before we understand how to reverse the numbness of novocaine, we need to know what it is and how it works. Novocaine is a local anesthetic that eases pain around the areas where it’s administered. While the chemistry behind novocaine is complex, the basics are easy to understand. Novocaine essentially blocks your nerves from sending pain signals to the brain, therefore making treatment comfortable and virtually pain-free. Your dentist in Tuscaloosa may use novocaine prior to dental treatments such as:
- Root canals
- Cosmetic dentistry procedures
How Long Does Novocaine Usually Last?
This is a tough question to answer as the effects of novocaine can vary in duration based on how much your dentist uses for your specific body and procedure. Usually, novocaine will numb your tooth for about 1-2 hours. But that doesn’t mean the numbness immediately subsidies after that. The effects of novocaine can last for 3-5 more hours after you leave the dental office.
How to Wear Off Novocaine Faster
Don’t have an additional 3-5 hours to wait until you regain feeling in your lips and face? There are things you can do to help make the numbness wear off faster.
- Massage the Area. If your procedure wasn’t serious and you aren’t experiencing any pain or swelling, you can try gently massaging the area to increase blood flow. More blood into the affected area can help bring feeling back quickly. However, you should avoid touching the actual injection site or the treatment area directly, and you should always wash your hands prior to touching your lips, mouth, or face.
- Do Something Physical. Similarly to massage, getting your blood pumping by doing some physical activity can also help the numbness disappear faster. You can take a walk, hop on a bike, or perhaps even go for a run. Whatever your exercise of choice is, make sure you get your dentist’s approval before you jump into strenuous activity.
- Apply a Warm Compress. Applying heat to any part of our bodies will also increase blood flow, again perhaps helping novocaine wear off faster.
Other Novocaine Side Effects
While other side effects of novocaine are rare, they are possible and include:
- Minor injection site pain
- Muscle twitching
If you experience these side effects, talk with your dentist in Tuscaloosa prior to receiving novocaine.
Novocaine is an incredibly common part of routine dental work and truly helps make treatments easier and more comfortable for you. If you have questions or concerns about novocaine, never hesitate to ask your dental team. After all, we are here to help you get the care you need while keeping you comfortable every step of the way.