What is Novocaine?

Novocaine is a local anesthetic drug that is commonly used by dentists all over the world. Unlike general anesthesia, these local chemicals do not cause a loss of consciousness.

Novocaine was first synthesized back in 1905, and though many other treatments have been developed since then, it is still commonly used for certain procedures, such as when getting a root canal. Novocaine works by blocking pain receptors from being sent to the brain, preventing you from feeling any negative sensation.

When is Novocaine Used and Are There Alternatives?

As mentioned above, Novocaine is often used for procedures involving just one part of the body. According to Healthline, this includes the following situations:

  • a filling for a tooth cavity
  • wisdom tooth removal
  • a minor skin procedure, like removing a mole or a wart
  • certain types of eye surgery, such as cataract removal
  • a biopsy (when a sample of tissue is removed from a part of your body for examination under a microscope)

Though Novocaine is probably the most common treatment option in use today, there are several alternatives available, such as laughing gas and IV (general) anesthesia. If you have trouble becoming numb from Novocain, are worried about an adverse reaction, or simply do not like it, consult with your dentist about other options that may be available to you.

How long does it take to wear off?

In general, the effects of Novocaine do not typically last very long within the body. As the shortest-acting injectable anesthetic, it usually has a duration of around 30-60 minutes, unless paired with something like epinephrine (adrenaline). In these cases, it may last closer to 90 minutes or so.

Author: Peter Mayhew

Peter is a dental hygienist in the city of Chicago, IL. In his free time he likes to write blogs and product reviews on anything dental health related.