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Dental Glossary

Local Anesthesia

Medications commonly referred to as "novocaine", although that anesthetic has not been in regular use for more than twenty years. The drugs commonly used to make teeth numb are now lidocaine, mepivocaine, bupivocaine, etidocaine, and prilocaine. Each has different strengths and weaknesses; we use each according to different indications. The medications above also are mixed with other medications, including adrenalin (epinephrine). If you have been sensitive to adrenalin in the past, please inform your dentist. It doesn't mean that you are allergic or can't have local anesthetic; a non-epinephrine formula can be used successfully. True allergy to local anesthetic is very rare.