Prolonged numbness after dental work or nerve block - Long Island City, NY 11101.

Did you leave the dentist with dental numbness because you had treatment done but it has been a few days since but you're still feeling prolonged numbness after the dental work?

What is prolonged numbness after dental work?

Aside from a dental cleaning, most procedures at the dental office would require local anesthesia, which means that you will be numb for the procedure. The dental numbness will include parts of and maybe not all but:

  • Your teeth

  • Face

  • Lips

  • Gums

  • Part of your tongue

What does it feel like?

  • Pins and needles

  • Tingling

  • Prickling

  • Chilling

  • Burning

In order to administer the anesthetic, novocaine or lidocaine, it is done through a syringe with a numbing needle.

Dental Syringe.png

Purpose of the dental numbing shot

The whole point of getting the numbing shot is because we don't want you to feel any tooth pain during the procedure. In essence, our long island city dentist do want your nerve to be numb.

How long does dental numbing last?

Typically the dental numbing by our LIC dentist should last only about 2-3 hours after the dental treatment such as for a white tooth filling procedure. If you are still feeling numbness or tingles on your skin the next day, you should contact your dentist.

  • Your nerves should be numb but only for up to 3 hours. If you are still numb then it means that you are experiencing prolonged numbness after dental work.

In order to explain why there is prolonged numbness we need to review what happens during the local anesthestic injection:

  1. We first apply the dental numbing gel to prepare the area so that it is less painful during the injection.

  2. Then we give you the dental numbing shot.

  3. The numbing shot shouldn't actually touch your nerve for you to be numb. It is suppose to just be near it and then you deposit the novocaine into the entire area around the nerve.

  4. Basically the area where the nerve is will be supersaturated or flooded with novocaine and this gets it numb.

  5. There are rare scenarios where the dentist gets lucky or not so lucky and the numbing needle actually touches the nerve. You may feel a sharp tingle when this occurs.

  6. In those instances you may feel prolonged numbess after the procedure because the nerve got scratched.

For these situations, the nerve is just traumatized and inflamed. It just needs to be given time for it to heal. The prolonged numbness should go away within a week or even up to a couple of weeks. You should notice the sensation start coming back slowly over the next few weeks. A full recovery may be up to six months in some cases.

Some common scenarios for this to happen:

  • The least common is during any local infiltration

  • A little more common is prolonged numbness after a nerve block. This is when we have to anesthetized the lower back teeth molars. This means that whenever you feel your tongue numb there would be a higher chance for to experience it after.

  • Prolonged numbness after root canal would have a similar incidence as the above

  • The procedure with the highest chance of it occurring would be during an impacted wisdom tooth removal.

You may be wondering, is there any way to prevent prolonged numbness from happening?

Unfortunately our dentists in long island city have not figured out a practical way to prevent or avoid this from happening. The only way to do it would be to get you a CT scan and then have a 3D printed model of your skull. With that model, we can craft a plastic stent that marks the exact spot of where to give the dental numbing shot so that we can avoid the nerve.

That is very impractical because it would take a few weeks of prep work before you can actually get dental treatment. It would also significantly increase the costs of the procedure by many folds.

This condition is actually called dental parasthesia

Here are some statistics for dental parasthesia:

  • For local infiltration and nerve blocks the chances are 0.35%-8.4% according to this study.

  • For impacted wisdom teeth the chances were up to 11.5%

  • Most of the inflamed nerve injuries recovered within six months but about 1% had lasting nerve numbness.