Novocaine is a local anesthetic that is generally used in dental treatments or small surgeries.
It is ideal for this type of procedures because it has a short-lived effect and can be concentrated in small areas. It’s effect will typically last between 30 and 90 minutes, depending on how the practitioner uses it.
If you are about to have a procedure with Novocaine here is what to expect.
What is Novocaine?
Novocaine is a brand of the local anesthetic procaine, usually used for uncomplicated procedures. It numbs a small localized area, allowing the doctor to perform surgery.
The types of procedures that require the use of Novocaine vary from dental care to small surgery, such as dermatology, ophthalmology, etc. Your doctor will most probably administer this anesthetic when treating a cavity, removing a wart or collecting tissue for biopsy.
A Short History of Novocaine
Novocaine has revolutionized the medical world at the beginning of the 20th century, becoming the first synthetic local anesthetic to be used in the United States. It has allowed doctors to perfect their procedures and increase the quality of treatment received by the patients.
Novocaine replaced cocaine as the local anesthetic, and it had fewer side effects than the drug. In the last decade, with new synthetic anesthesia being introduced, Novocaine lost its popularity, but plenty of dentists and doctors continue to use it.
How Long Do the Effects of Novocaine Last?
If you are worried that Novocaine will not numb you throughout your procedure, it is important to note that while it might be the shortest acting local anesthetic nowadays, your dentist can make it to last longer by administering it together with epinephrine (adrenaline).
The dentist will increase the dosage if needed, or switch to a different drug in case Novocaine is no longer helping.
Novocaine by itself will typically last about 30 minutes while paired with epinephrine it can last up to 90 minutes. Its effects begin 9-10 minutes after being administered through an injection in the tissue.
What Factors Could Influence How Long Novocaine Lasts?
The main factor that dictates how long the drug’s effect will last is the dosage. Your sedation dentist will calculate it for the size of the area that needs to be numbed, how many nerves are present in that area and whether they will use epinephrine or not.
If the Novocaine injection doesn’t seem to work, the dosage will be increased, or the injection will be made in a different area. The doctor might also choose to use something else.
The bottom line is this: Novocaine is a widely used local anesthetic because it is generally stable and safe for patients. Its prolonged effects, when paired with epinephrine, allow it to be used for a broad range of treatments while having minimal side effects.
If you have additional question, don’t hesitate to give us a call at (314) 862-7844.