Where Does the Dentist Inject Lidocaine?

Learn where dentists inject lidocaine and how to make injections less painful from an expert's perspective. Find out what happens during a dental checkup and how to address fear of going to the dentist.

Where Does the Dentist Inject Lidocaine?

The dentist is an expert in finding the nerves in the mouth. If only one tooth needs to be treated, they may only need to do one injection. The syringe is inserted into the area near the tip of the tooth root, into the seam where the gum line meets the beginning of the lip. To perform a dental procedure, the dentist may need to numb a part of the mouth by injecting a local anesthetic, such as lidocaine, into the gums or inner part of the cheek.

There are two types of anesthetic injections: a locking injection that numbs an entire region of the mouth and an infiltration injection that numbs a smaller area near where the shot was given. Lidocaine, also known as lignocaine, is a medicine used to numb a specific area of tissue. It can be mixed with small amounts of epinephrine to allow higher doses for numbing and reduce bleeding, making the numbing effect last longer. It also helps to relieve pain and vascular spasms as recommended treatment of injections.

The dentist can make injections less painful by gently pulling on the area where the anesthesia needle is to be inserted. In some cases, they may place a numbing gel on the gum at the injection site before injecting the anesthetic. This makes it completely painless for most patients, which is ideal for those with dental phobia or fear of needles. A good dentist knows that injections that are done too quickly and too hard can tear the gum tissue.

You can also do this at home without even realizing it. When you have a procedure that requires local dental anesthesia, you can dry part of your mouth with cotton or air. If you haven't had an appointment with a dentist for a while, you may have forgotten what happens during a dental checkup. The anesthetic agents of these anesthetics are only a fraction of what is injected into the mouth in the dentist's office.

Some dentists try to inject anesthesia very quickly, simply because they want the pain to go away as quickly as possible. Fear of going to the dentist is real for many people and can be addressed by seeing a board-certified sleep medicine dentist who may recommend oral appliance therapy for obstructive sleep apnea or OSA.