Officially called procaine hydrochloride, the drug Novocain is a localized anesthetic commonly used by dentists to perform many dental procedures, such as tooth extractions and cavity fillings.
Typically, this anesthetic works quickly, with the effects wearing off before the end of the day-typical side effects include tingling, numbness, and sometimes minor pain from the injection site. Novocain is considered safe to use, per the FDA, but, as with all medications, there is always the chance of atypical side effects occurring after a procedure.
Before undergoing a procedure requiring Novocain, patients should speak with their dentist and ask about warning signs they should watch for-this way they’ll know if they need to go back to the dentist’s office for more treatment. Luckily, the side effects of Novocain are often nothing to worry about, but here are some less common side effects just to be safe.
There are cases where people have a sensitivity to Novocain, leading to allergic reactions that can vary in severity. If a patient has successfully used Novocain previously, it’s less likely he or she would have an allergic reaction compared to someone who’s never experienced Novocain.
For patients who have never used Novocain before, inform your dentist, so he or she can watch for symptoms, which are often limited to areas of the mouth where the anesthetic was administered. These areas may cause swelling or trouble breathing in more severe cases.
Central Nervous System Reactions
In rare cases, Novocain could interfere with the central nervous system’s normal functioning. To avoid this, dentists will thoroughly review their patient’s medical history to identify possible pre-existing conditions as well as determining the precise dosage.
Dizziness and nervousness within the patient’s central nervous system and even respiratory failure may happen if excessive Novocain is administered, which is why it’s crucial that patients inform their dentist of any health concerns they have as well as any current OTC and prescription medications. Novocain can dangerously interact with other drugs or cause certain health conditions to worsen.
Other Rare Side Effects
Some rare Novocain side effects include irregular heartbeat, chest pain, anxiety, trembling, nausea, vomiting, restlessness, or seizures. While these side effects are less common, they could be very dangerous, so it is crucial that patients tell their dentist immediately if they experience one or more of them.
Dentists are aware of common and less common Novocain side effects, and they can discuss those side effects with patients prior to treatment. They know what to look for if a patient begins having a negative reaction and can act accordingly by either choosing another kind of anesthetic when the Novocain wears off or stopping altogether and recommending alternative medical care. If a problem occurs, the dentist can also make a note of it in the patient’s chart for future procedures.