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Dental Anesthesia

Lack of numbing effect with carbocaine 2%

03/19/2009

Question:

Previously during my many dental procedures, including root canals, I`ve required one novacaine shot only. Recently, at a new dentist, twice I`ve been given Carbocaine 2% and felt nothing except an initial lightheadedness and a faster heartbeat. I left without completing the procedure. Any thoughts would be appreciated.

Answer:

First, mepivicaine (Carbocaine) usually comes in a 3% solution and without an added medication to constrict the blood vessels in the area of injection to improve duration and depth of local anesthesia. In the upper jaw, the drug can be somewhat less predictable than anesthetics with the added medication.

This is the most likely reason if the treatment was in the upper jaw. In the lower jaw, the anatomy is highly variable, and the injection technique varies slightly from doctor to doctor. Generally the success rate is about 80% for a first injection. So, your time may have just come up.

Discuss this with your dentist and see if a different anesthetic and slightly variable technique does the trick. No doubt it will.

For more information:

Go to the Dental Anesthesia health topic, where you can:

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