What to Know About Novocaine Shots - Holladay Family Dental
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What to Know About Novocaine Shots

What to Know About Novocaine Shots

If you’re like a lot of people, the worst part about going to the dentist is the dreaded novocaine shot. Just the thought can make your gums hurt and put you on edge. But what is novocain? When we understand what it is and how dentists use the numbing agent in their work, going to the dentist doesn’t have to be scary.

What is it exactly?

Novocaine is a local anesthetic. It doesn’t make you go to sleep. A dentist can give it to a person who is awake, and it can dull feeling just in one specific place. A German chemist invented the man-made substance in the early 1900s. Its fancy name is procaine hydrochloride.

There are other, better things available today

Another name for the mouth-numbing substance is procaine. When it was first invented, procaine was a huge improvement in dentistry. Before procaine, your options were to get very drunk before your procedure or even use cocaine. Needless to say, a local anesthetic that isn’t additive or deadly was a welcome improvement.

Even so, modern anesthetics have replaced novocaine. Lidocaine is one example. Many doctors prefer lidocaine because it starts working faster, and it lasts longer that procaine. Articaine is another modern numbing agent.

Anesthetics in dentistry

The purpose of a local numbing agent is to make your dental experience comfortable. Your dentist knows when to use novocaine, and they might combine it with other comfort agents like music, a heavy blanket or laughing gas. What you need depends on you and also on the procedure that you’re having at the dentist’s office.

Complications and side effects

There are not many side effects to dental numbing agents. Although a few people respond with low blood pressure, chills or drowsiness, these complications are rare. If you have a rare, severe reaction to a numbing agent, your dentist knows what to do.

When a patient has a severe reaction, the dentist stops the injection. They make sure that the person has plenty of oxygen and that their airways are open. There’s not a specific antidote shot, but a dentist might use epinephrine or lipid emulsions to control the effects of toxicity.

It’s important to remember that severe reactions to the use of a numbing agent are extremely rare. Your dentist knows when to use novocaine. They have extensive training and experience in how it works.

Ask Questions

What is novocain? It’s a chemical substance that helps you feel more comfortable when you go to the dentist. It makes it so that you can’t feel pain in a certain spot for a few hours. That allows the dentist to use tools and perform procedures without your feeling pain.

Your dentist is your teammate for good oral health. If you have questions about your procedure, we’re happy to explain things to you. If you need a dentist in the Holladay, UT area, we’re here to make your experience pleasant and comfortable.