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5284 Dawes Ave
Alexandria, VA 22311
Ph / 1.866.406.6787
Fx / 703.379.6407
If you have difficulty getting numb or experience adverse reactions after a local anesthetic is administered, you are not alone. In fact, problems with local anesthetics are not rare. Visit the Virginia Center for Dental Anesthesiology and find out more about alternatives to local anesthetics we can administer at Center for Dental Anesthesiology in Alexandria, serving Washington, D.C., Falls Church, and surrounding areas.
While dental anesthetics are often collectively called "novocaine", in fact, novocaine is never used as a dental anesthetic these days. Dental anesthetics include: lidocaine (Xylocaine™), carbocaine (Mepivacaine™), prilocaine (Citanest™), articaine (Septocaine™), bupivacaine (Marcaine™). They all fall in the same class of drugs but differ in potency, actions and safety.
Like all medications, local anesthetics conform to a statistically predictable distribution of effectiveness and safety. Even long used drugs with good reputations for safety can cause dangerous reactions in a small percentage of people - often 5 to 10 percent. These dose related sensitivities may also be connected with preservatives, buffers or vasoconstrictors (like epinephrine) that are often co-administered with the local anesthetic. Whatever the cause of one of these reactions, if it happens to you, it is not something you are going to want to repeat.
Possibly you have always ‘felt something' (or a lot worse) when having invasive dental treatment (like 'fillings' or root canals). Here, again, you are not alone. A ‘walk-out' survey was done at a dental school clinic revealing 28 percent of the respondents had been ‘uncomfortable' during the treatment. Some said they would not come back because of this and others planned to continue with treatment but with trepidation. Most experienced dentists and anesthesiologists would like to think they can do better than this thanks to experience, skill and newer drugs. However, the statistic is irrefutable; 5 - 10 percent of people will just not get comfortable with any amount of any type of local anesthesia alone. You do not have to suffer or ‘suck it up'. If you were to see your physician for a minor surgery, you would certainly be offered anesthetic options. The doctor might suggest that most people are fine with local anesthesia but if you didn't think that was for you, you would get options. In most cases, the options would include sedation plus local anesthesia or general anesthesia. Why should it be different for dental procedures?
If you are in this group, the Center for Dental Anesthesiology can help. We can provide necessary routine care and even invasive dental procedures with comfort and safety, just like you expect for medical procedures.
Please contact the Center for Dental Anesthesiology, serving Alexandria, Washington, D.C., Falls Church, Virginia, and surrounding communities, for more information about problems with local anesthetics.