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31 / 05 / 2023

Hello there! It’s completely normal to have questions about what to expect after a dental procedure, especially when it comes to the effects of local anaesthesia. One common question we often receive is, “How long does numbing last after the dentist?”.

Local anaesthesia, also known as a dental block or local, is commonly used during various dental procedures, ranging from fillings and crowns to extractions and root canals. It’s designed to numb specific areas of the mouth to prevent you from feeling pain or discomfort during the procedure.

But how long does this numbing effect last? On average, most local anaesthetics will take between 2 to 3 hours to wear off completely. However, it’s important to understand that this can vary based on several factors.

1. Type of Anaesthetic Used: The specific type of local anaesthetic used can affect how long the numbing lasts. Some types of local anaesthetics have a longer duration of action than others. Your dentist will select the most suitable type for your procedure.

2. Dosage: The amount of local anaesthetic administered can also influence how long the numbing sensation persists. The larger the dose, the longer you can expect the numbness to last.

3. Individual Factors: Each individual’s body metabolises local anaesthetic at different rates. Factors like your overall health, age, body weight, and metabolism speed can influence how long the numbness lasts.

So, while you can generally expect the numbing to last for a few hours, don’t be surprised if it’s a bit shorter or longer depending on these factors.

While the numbness is wearing off, it’s important to be careful not to accidentally bite your cheek or tongue, as you may not feel it due to the anaesthesia. Also, try to avoid eating or drinking hot substances until the numbness has completely worn off to prevent burns or scalds.

While the sensation of being numb can be a little strange or uncomfortable, it should pass with time and is not something to be alarmed about. If you notice that the numbness is not decreasing after a few hours, or if you have any concerns or experience any unusual symptoms, do not hesitate to get in touch with your dental practice. They will be able to provide you with further guidance and reassurance.

In conclusion, local anaesthesia is a safe and essential part of many dental procedures, helping to ensure your comfort throughout. The numbing effects generally last for a few hours but may vary based on the type and amount of anaesthetic used and your body’s individual response. Remember, your dental team is there to ensure your comfort and safety, so never hesitate to ask questions or express any concerns. After all, understanding what to expect before, during, and after your dental procedure is a crucial part of your oral healthcare journey.


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