Detail of dentist applying local anesthetic to patient for numbing the pain before procedure. Focus on the drop on the top of the needle

Some dental procedures require that you undergo a numbing needle at the site of the treatment in order to avoid pain and discomfort. While this can be a lifesaver in the moment, in some cases, the numbing effect may last for many hours after the treatment is complete.

In most cases, this is little more than an inconvenience, and the feeling will pass in time. But if you are in a rush to reduce the numbing effects, there are resources at your disposal.

How Long Does a Numbing Shot Last?

The tooth and the area immediately surrounding the injection site will remain numb for up to an hour, depending on what is used and the dosage.

The cheeks, tongue, lips, mouth, and face will often retain a sense of numbness for up to five hours following the injection.

Can I Make the Numbing Effect Go Away Faster?

Yes. There are some things that you can do to help make the numb feeling in your mouth and face go away more quickly after a dental needle injection.

You can do the following:

  • Massage the numb area. Unless your mouth, cheeks, or lips are swollen after the procedure, it can help you to limit the time it takes for the numbness to go away by massaging the area gently. Make sure to wash your hands before beginning this process and be gentle. The massage can help to increase blood flow and warm up the area, mitigating the feeling of numbness.
  • Apply a compress. Like a massage, application of a warm compress may help to get the blood moving and help the numb feeling go away more quickly.
  • Start moving around. Blood flow throughout the body can help to move the anesthesia through your system more quickly. Movement directly at the site through massage or a warm compress can help, but if you are unable to apply pressure to the area due to swelling or pain, moving the entire body can stimulate the necessary blood flow.
  • Ask the dentist for a counter injection. Ask your dentist if they offer the ability to get an injection that will counter the effects of the numbness shot. Not all dentists offer this, and because it is not considered medically necessary, most insurance plans will not cover the cost either. However, the cost is usually minimal, less than $100, and it may help to cut the amount of time you experience numbness in the area surrounding the dental treatment site in half.

Don’t Let the Numbing Needle Stop You From Getting the Dental Care You Need

Don’t let fear of the discomfort associated with the dentist’s numbing needle stop you from getting the dental treatment you need. Call Dison Family Dentistry today to set up an appointment and manage your dental care quickly, efficiently, and safely.

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