How We Make Novocain Wear Off Faster

Here at ClevelandSmiles, one of our patients’ favorite procedures involves the use of “OraVerse,” which reverses the effects of Novocain. For years, patients have complained to the dental team that they wish they could get their normal feeling back quickly after having dental treatment, often saying “It’s not the dental work that I mind; it’s that numb feeling that stays with me the rest of the day.”

For the past eight years or so, our patients have had the option of getting an injection of OraVerse near the end of their appointment, which gets rid of most of the numbness within a half hour or so. For patients who want to have something to eat or need to get back to work or just want  to have a normal conversation, this has been a great improvement over their care in the past.

Quite frankly, it has been a source of “amazement” to them and to their family and friends – many of whom did not even know that this was possible – leading to a number of referrals to us just because of this simple, everyday idea.

How We Reverse the Effects of Novocain

This is how it works: After we’ve seated a patient and discussed that day’s procedures, whether it be for fillings, bonding, porcelain veneers, or even gum contouring or implants, we explain that there are options to make the experience as easy as possible. In some cases, a patient may take a Valium or Advil before their dental work, which may help them relax and lessen any potential pain, respectively.

The type of anesthetic/injection is discussed, as the duration of the time in the chair may vary, depending upon the procedure and conditions – which influences the choice of anesthetics. (We may also offer a blanket, television show or DVD, or headsets and/or sunglasses to make the experience as relaxed as possible.)

After the numbing injection is given – very effortlessly and painlessly due to our technique – and the dental procedure is near completion, we will stop and ask the patient  if she or he would like the reversal. If the answer is “yes,” we give an injection of the OraVerse into the same area where the initial Novocain was placed; as the patient is at that point still numb, this latter injection is also done painlessly.

When everything is “wrapped up”, the patient has the opportunity to check themselves in the mirror and is given a warm, moist towel to “clean up” and be refreshed. As they prepare to check out and meet at our front desk, they ofter remark that they can notice that some of the numbness has already gone away.

They are cautioned not to drink anything too warm at this point so that they won’t spill anything on themselves and are also advised not to eat anything till they are no longer numb, so that they do not inadvertently chew on their lips or cheeks. After leaving the office, most people, following this procedure, have found that they have very minimal numbness or are even “back to normal” by the time they get back to work or home.

Follow-up calls that same evening by Dr. Marsh confirms that the OraVerse worked and that the patients are very comfortable – and often amazed!

It’s quite remarkable to most – but routinely in our office – that the use of the OraVerse injection has improved the dental appointment as well as the post-treatment recovery, enabling our patients to get back to their normal feeling and routine as soon as possible!