Can You Make Novocaine Numbness Go Away Fast?

added on: March 23, 2020

We’re not totally sure if The Weeknd was reminiscing of a dental appointment when he wrote his hit song “I Can’t Feel My Face,” but if you’ve ever had novocaine before dental treatment, it’s easy to believe that the weird numbness you experienced may have just been the artistic inspiration behind the song. But in all seriousness, novocaine can help ease discomfort during a filling, root canal, or other dental procedures, but the lingering effects of not being able to feel your face can be annoying. Just how long will the numbness last? Is there any way to get rid of it faster? Let’s check-in with your dentist in Chapel Hill.  

How Long Does Novocaine Last?

Novocaine is great at blocking pain signals from your nerves to your brain. That’s why it’s so good to use during dental treatments that may otherwise be uncomfortable. When it comes to determining just how long novocaine numbness will last depends on several things including: 

  • How much novocaine is administered 
  • Your overall health and certain medical conditions 
  • Whether or not an infection is present

So while the effects of novocaine certainly vary from person to person, typically you can expect to experience numbness between one or even five hours after you leave the dental office. 

Can You Make The Numbness Go Away Faster?

There’s no absolute trick that will make novocaine numbness go away faster, but there are a few things you can try. 

  • Warm Compress. Applying heat to the skin helps increase blood flow, and more blood to the injection site and numbed nerves may help reverse the side effects of novocaine faster than doing nothing. Try placing a moist, warm compress to the affected area for up to 20 minutes. However, it’s important to use a barrier as heat should never be applied directly to the skin. 
  • Gentle Massage. Another way to increase blood flow is to gently massage the numb area. Before trying this, make sure you don’t have any pain or swelling or you can hurt yourself. It’s also important to avoid massaging or touching the injection site directly. Before trying this method, ask your dentist in Chapel Hill if it’s safe to do after your specific treatment. 
  • Exercise. Perhaps the best way to get your blood pumping is to engage in some sort of exercise. Whether you choose to take a walk, go for a bike ride, or run after dental treatment, get approval from your dentist first. 

What Not To Do After Receiving Novocaine

Since novocaine can leave your lips, tongue, and mouth without full feeling for a while, there are some things you should avoid during this time. For example, try your best not to chew on the numb side of your mouth. You can bite yourself and not know it. Similarly, drink and eat hot beverages and food with caution. You may not realize how hot something really is and can burn yourself. 

Many of our patients believe that the temporary side effects of novocaine are totally worth the pain-free dental treatment. But if you’re concerned about novocaine or feel that it may not be right for you, be sure to talk with your dentist in Chapel Hill prior to treatment. 

Posted In: Oral Health, General