Local anaesthesia is often used prior to commencing dental procedures to help dull pain. Its commonly used for treatments such as tooth extractions, root canal treatment and fillings. Prior to injecting the anaesthesia, the area will be swabbed with a topical numbing gel to help reduce the sensation of the needle. As the dentist injects the local anaesthesia most people don’t feel the needle just the sensation of the anaesthetic moving into the tissue. There are two types of injections, a block which is used to numb a region of the mouth and an infiltration which numbs only a small area where the injection was given. Unlike general anaesthesia local anaesthesia does not put the patient to sleep, and the numbing effects normally wear off after a few hours. The numbing effect can make it difficult to speak and eat so its important for patients to be careful not the bite down on the numb area as they can hurt or burn themselves without realizing.
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