How Do Dentists Numb Your Mouth For Dental Fillings?

How Do Dentists Numb Your Mouth For Dental Fillings?

Jul 01, 2023

Dental procedures can be nerve-wracking, especially when getting dental fillings near you. The thought of needles and pain can make anyone anxious. However, the filling procedure has become relatively simple, thanks to modern dentistry techniques.

What is a Dental Filling, and Why Is It Necessary

A filling procedure involves removing decayed tooth material and filling the resulting space with a composite resin or amalgam. This is necessary when tooth decay has caused damage to the tooth structure, creating a cavity.

Dental fillings in Milford, CT, are necessary because they help prevent further damage to the tooth and restore its function and appearance. Without fillings, decay can spread and cause more serious problems over time. Additionally, fillings can protect sensitive areas of the tooth from temperature changes and food particles that can cause discomfort. Overall, getting a dental filling is quick and painless to maintain good oral health and keep your smile looking great.

How Do Dentists Numb Your Mouth for a Dental Filling?

While the teeth-filling procedure is relatively straightforward, many patients are nervous or anxious about receiving a filling. There are several ways that a general dentist in Milford, CT, can numb your mouth.

The primary method is through local anesthesia injections. The dentist will use apply a topical anesthetic gel. This gel helps numb the skin’s surface, making the injection less painful. Then, the dentist will use a syringe to inject the local anesthesia into the gum tissue.

Local anesthesia works by blocking the transmission of pain signals. Once the injection is given, the patient will begin to feel numbness in the area around the tooth that needs to be filled. This numbness will typically last for a few hours, depending on the given anesthesia dose.

Another method that dentists may use to numb a patient’s mouth is through the use of a numbing gel or spray. These topical anesthetics contain different anesthetic that numbs the skin’s surface and mucous membranes, reducing the pain sensation. These gels or sprays are typically applied to the gum tissue near the tooth that needs to be filled and left to sit for a few minutes before the filling procedure begins.

In some cases, dentists may also use a combination of local anesthesia injections and topical anesthetics.

Side Effects of Dental Local Anesthetics

While local anesthetics are generally considered safe, they can have some side effects, ranging from mild to severe.

  • Allergic reactions to local anesthetics are rare but can occur. Symptoms can include itching, hives, swelling, and difficulty breathing. In severe cases, anaphylaxis can occur.
  • Numbness. Local anesthetics can cause tongue, lips, and cheeks numbness, lasting several hours after the procedure. Avoid biting your tongue or cheek while the area is numb, as this can cause injury.
  • Headaches. Some patients may experience headaches after receiving local anesthesia. These headaches are usually mild and can be treated with over-the-counter pain medication.
  • Dizziness. Local anesthetics can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, especially if the patient stands up too quickly after the procedure.
  • Nausea: Nausea can occur after receiving local anesthesia but is mild. It is crucial to inform the dentist if nausea persists.
  • Dry Mouth: Local anesthetics can cause dry mouth, which can be uncomfortable.
  • Temporary Vision Changes: Local anesthetics can cause temporary vision changes. These changes usually go away on their own and do not require treatment.
  • Nerve Damage: In rare cases, local anesthesia can cause nerve damage. This can result in numbness, tingling, or a burning sensation that may be permanent. Patients should inform their dentist if they experience unusual sensations after receiving local anesthesia.
  • Infection: Local anesthesia injections can introduce bacteria into the bloodstream, leading to infection. Patients with weakened immune systems or at risk of infection should inform their dentist before receiving local anesthesia.


Getting a dental filling is a necessary procedure to maintain good oral health. Dentists use local anesthesia to numb the mouth before performing the filling. Visit Big Smiles Pediatric Dentistry for more information about dental fillings and what to expect.

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