Local anesthetics are the most common drugs used in the dental office. Side effects are very rare.
One possible side effect is a hematoma. This is a blood-filled swelling. It can form when the injection needle hits a blood vessel.
The numbing medicine sometimes causes numbness outside of the targeted area. If this happens, your eyelid or mouth can droop. You will recover when the drug wears off.
If you are unable to blink, you may need to have your eye taped shut until the numbness wears off. The anesthetic usually lasts for only a couple of hours. In some people, the vasoconstrictor drug can cause the heart to beat faster. This lasts only a minute or two. Tell your doctor if this has ever happened to you.
Finally, the needle can injure a nerve. This can lead to numbness and pain for several weeks or months. The nerve usually heals over time.
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