While we have all heard of Novocain, what is it?

In getting any type of dental procedure, it is not uncommon to wonder whether there will be pain or discomfort. Fortunately, local anesthetics can account for this and make us feel at ease. Perhaps the most famous of all is Novocain. And, although some may fear it’s injectable form, it is a relief to know a “numbing shot” will be given to keep discomfort at a minimum. Though we may have experienced it before, what substance is actually in that syringe? What is Novocain?

What is Novocain made of?

Novocain is an anesthetic drug which blocks feelings of pain and is used, especially, when an incision needs to be made or an extraction must be performed. Known also as “Procain” in dental circles, this drug, chemically, breaks down into three basic molecular components common to all anesthetics.

What effects does it create?

While some dental professionals may offer “laughing gas” or even general anesthesia for oral surgeries and other more invasive procedures, Novocain is the most common injection used in the dental office. Novocain essentially causes a feeling of numbness to the gums and surrounding mucous membranes to the area being worked on. Its effects can last from a few minutes to several hours in a dental setting, depending on dosage, potency, etc. Most importantly, like many other anesthetics, it can allow patients to abstain from feeling any pain associated with any facet of oral surgery.

Does Novocain have side effects?

As with nearly all medications, some side effects can be anticipated. Although uncommon, one side effect a dental professional may asses for would be any sort of anaphylactic or allergic reaction to the chemical contents of the drug. More common is pain or soreness around the injection site. Due to some side effects, patients with cardiac conditions are sent for clearance to their primary doctor or cardiologist.

Novocain: can you feel it?

Clearly, anesthetics are necessary when it comes to many dental procedures, oral surgery, teeth extractions and the like. Anesthesia amounts and types used are regulated by the severity of the condition and procedure. As far as local anesthetics go, however, these are nearly always used to deaden pain at the site of the injection. Drugs like injectable Novocain are instrumental in this process.

Education is key to an understanding of the use and application of drugs in conjunction with dental procedures. Visiting Dr Tragar at one of his JFK and LaGuardia airport locations is the next step to determine the nature of your oral condition, what procedures are required and which anesthetics may be involved. Call Dr Robert M Trager, DDS to schedule a consultation to learn what to expect from that procedure you may need and how to make it as painless and comfortable as possible.