How Long Does Dental Injection Numbness Last?

Are you making up your mind about a dental procedure and wondering if it requires any kind of dental sedation to ease dental anxiety or pain? And how long does dental injection numbness last? Will you be able to drive back to home? 

Well, how long dental injection numbness lasts depends on the type of local anesthetic administered. Most of the time, the numbness wears off within a few hours, but sometimes, it may take until the next morning to take full control of your mouth again. Short-acting local anesthetics generally last for 1–3 hours, while long-lasting dental injection numbness lasts for 2–5 hours. Extra long-lasting local anesthetics may provide numbness for up to 8 hours. 

Before performing the procedure, the dentist asks you if you have dental anxiety and want the anesthetic or how profound you want it to be.

How Long Does Dental Injection Numbness Last

Why does a dentist numb your mouth?

Dentists always prioritize your safety and comfort while performing a procedure. They want you to feel comfortable and have a painless procedure. Sometimes, there are procedures that are uncomfortable and require additional measures to be taken. That is why they use numbing agents to ensure you don’t feel any pain or irritation during treatments.

Dentists numb the area for procedures such as

  1. Fillings
  2. Tooth extractions
  3. Gum surgery
  4. Crowns
  5. Root canals
  6. Wisdom teeth removal
  7. Occasionally, for dental cleanings

Numbing eliminates any discomfort and also minimizes involuntary movements like flinching. These numbing agents help patients undergo dental procedures with utmost ease and pain-free experience.

Are there different types of Numbing Agents?

It is unfair to say that the dentist always numbs the area. They consider various factors, like your medical history and the complexity of the procedure, before choosing a numbing agent. Here are the different types commonly used:

Topical anesthetics:

These are gels or liquids applied to the surface area to temporarily numb it. They are often used before administering injections to reduce discomfort during the procedure.

Short-acting local anesthetics:

These injections are suitable for small procedures like small fillings. Their effect lasts for 1–3 hours.

Long-acting local anesthetics:

These injections are ideal for longer procedures such as crown placements. The dental injection numbness lasts for a duration of 2–5 hours.

Extra long-acting local anesthetics:

These injections are reserved for extensive procedures like tooth extractions where prolonged pain control is necessary. The dental injection numbness lasts for up to 8 hours.

Is it Safe to get Dental Numbing?

Dental numbing is safe when administered by a trained dental professional. However, like any medical procedure, it does carry minimal risks. These include a temporary increase in pulse rate and blood pressure, potential nerve damage causing paraesthesia in the area, and soreness at the injection site. It’s especially important for individuals with heart conditions or high blood pressure to inform their dentist beforehand.

At Prime Family Dentistry, we prioritize your safety and comfort. We consider several factors to decide the numbing process for you:

  1. The specific procedure required
  2. Your medical history
  3. Your anxiety level regarding the procedure
  4. The location of the procedure in your mouth (back teeth may require more anesthetic)
  5. Your weight
  6. Your age

We carefully calculate the precise dosage required for effective numbing while minimizing risks. We monitor your vital signs or any signs of discomfort throughout the procedure. Your well-being is our priority!

Side Effects of Dental Numbing

Dental numbing is generally safe, but it can cause temporary sensations that may feel unusual. Some common side effects include a swollen or thick feeling in your lips, tongue, or cheek, as well as tingling at the site of the anesthetic. These sensations are normal and subside as the numbing wears off.

You may also experience swelling in the entire area and have a bitter taste in your mouth. These reactions indicate that your body is responding to the numbing agent—it’s a normal part of the process.

However, if you start feeling dizzy or develop a headache, it’s important to inform your dentist immediately. Your comfort and safety are our priorities, so don’t hesitate to communicate any concerns during your dental procedure. We’re here to help ensure a positive experience for you.

What to Expect After Dental Numbing?

Once your dental procedure is complete, you may experience some temporary sensations that might feel strange. However, these effects will diminish as the numbing agent wears off from your system. But how long does dental injection numbness last? Well, it can last for a couple of hours to completely wear off from your body and to regain full consciousness.

Here are some tips to follow after your dental numbing:

  • Avoid eating until the numbness completely fades away, or you may accidentally bite your tongue or cheek. If you need to drink, using a straw is better.
  • Drink enough water to stay hydrated, as it helps flush out the numbing agent more quickly from your system.
  • Don’t eat hot foods or beverages, as they can cause burns to your mouth. Since you may still lack full sensation, you might not realize the damage until the numbness goes away.
  • Engage in light physical activity to speed up the removal of anesthetic from your body. Resting and taking it easy extends the duration of numbness.
  • If you experience any discomfort in your jaw joint or at the injection site, take a painkiller to help alleviate the pain.
  • Suck ice cubes or ice chips to promote circulation
  • Massage your lips and gums to enable circulation
  • Contact your dentist if you notice any unusual symptoms or if the numbness exists longer than expected. They can guide you in managing the numbness and ensure your swift recovery.


So, How long does dental injection numbness last? The numbness from dental injections usually lasts for a couple of hours. Although numbness is common and temporary, if you experience prolonged numbness, reach out to your dental provider for guidance and support. 

Learn more about dental injection numbness and expert dental care at Prime Family Dentistry in Stone Ridge, VA. Book your appointment online or call us today. New patients can call us at (703) 214-9126, while current patients can reach us at (703) 957-3536.


Numbness from a dental injection usually wears off within 1 to 3 hours, depending on the type of anesthetic used.

Sometimes numbness lasts for several hours after a procedure, especially with long-acting anesthetics. It is recommended that you contact your dentist if the numbness lasts longer than anticipated.

We recommend you stay hydrated, avoid hot foods or drinks, and engage in light physical activity to help the body metabolize the anesthetic faster, thereby reducing the duration of numbness.

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