Do you ever stop and wonder what Lidocaine actually is? In an effort to better educate our patients, Here’s a short description and explanation of the product.
What’s In Lidocaine?
Lidocaine, sometimes referred to as Lignocaine, is a medication used to numb a specific area of tissue. Also known as a local anesthetic. To allow for larger doses for numbing, Lidocaine can be mixed with small amounts of epinephrine. It can also help to decrease bleeding and to make the numbing effect last longer. It helps relieve pain and vascular spasms as a recommended treatment of injections.
Lidocaine is an antiarrhythmic medication of the class Ib type. This means it works by blocking sodium channels and thus decreasing the rate of contractions of the heart. Local neurons cannot signal the brain when it is used locally as a numbing agent.
Discovered in 1946, Lidocaine became more publicly available in 1948. It’s considered one of the most essential, effective, and safe medicines needed today. It’s available as a generic medication and it’s not very expensive. Xylocaine is one of the brand names it is recognized under.
We understand that a lot of this sounds like rather unnecessary information. However, it’s good to establish a baseline when introducing a topic such as this.
How Long Does The Numbness Last?
When injected, the numbing effects of Lidocaine can begin working very quickly. In as little as four minutes and can last from 30 minutes up to three hours.
However, other factors can play a role in how long the drug’s effects last. It’s a fast-acting local anesthetic. While its effects normally last for 30 to 60 minutes, it can last much longer if administered alongside epinephrine. Something we mention earlier. Other factors include the dosage, the individual, and the presence of the infection.
The higher the dose of Lidocaine, the longer the numbing effects will last. The amount administered depends on the type of procedure being performed. It can also depend on the number of nerves being numbed and the size of the area being treated. For example, a root canal treatment will require more Lidocaine than a simple filling.
The More You Know
In sum, Lidocaine is safe and effective. It is commonly used in dental offices across the country. At our family dentist office in Beaufort, SC, we strive to constantly be at the top of our game. We firmly believe in educating and informing our patients so they always feel comfortable in the work that we do. If you have any questions at all regarding the use of Lidocaine or other anesthetics, please don’t hesitate to call us at 843-986-0177 or ask during your appointment.