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Dental Anesthesia

Anesthesia for front teeth

01/27/2009

Question:

During an injection to numb my two front teeth prior to dental work i felt the novacine rushing into my nasal area and then it went down the back of my throat numbing the whole mouth and throat area, and the teeth and lips were not numbed at all! What happened?

Answer:

Thank you for your question. It is possible for the needle to extend into the nasal cavity during local anesthetic injection of the upper jaw front teeth, especially if the anatomy of the patient is somewhat different than the usual presentation.

In this case, the anesthetic would actually be deposited into the nasal cavity and, if the patient was lying supine in the dental chair, the anesthetic solution could flow to the throat. You are correct that in this situation, the teeth would not become “numb”.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University