Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"Does novocaine have any side effects?"
I have to have a tooth pulled and will be getting novocaine for the first time (I'm 21). Are there any side effects other than the numbness I should be worried about? Is it bad for your body in any way?
Having a tooth pulled can be a nerve-racking experience, so you should feel free to address all of your questions and concerns to your dentist. He or she should be able to go over the procedure itself as well as what you should expect afterwards. Novocaine is a local anesthetic that has been used in dentistry for a long time. When injected into the gums, it provides effective pain control for dental procedures. It works particularly well for dental procedures because it takes effect quickly (within a few minutes) and wears off relatively quickly (usually within 1-3 hours). Novocaine should not be used in people with a history of prior allergic reactions to the drug, but such reactions are quite rare and your dental provider will have appropriate medical equipment on hand to address this should it occur. Novocaine (and other anesthetics in the same general class) can cause several unwelcome reactions if absorbed systemically, including effects on the nervous system and the heart. However, when used for dental anesthesia, there is an almost negligible risk of this occurring because the drug is being injected only into the soft tissue, NOT into a blood vessel. Overall, novocaine is a very useful medication for procedures such as dental extractions because it enables patients to safely, calmly, and painlessly get the dental care they need.