A Closer Look At Pharmaceuticals Your Dentist May Administer During A Procedure

Posted on

When you're leaning back in the dentist's chair with their tools in your mouth, it's typically not very convenient to stop the dentist and ask what medications they are administering. Most dentists will tell you what they're giving you and perhaps offer a brief explanation, but you're probably not in the headspace to really think this through. So, if you are the kind of person who is curious about what you're being given during a dental procedure, take a look at these pharmaceuticals dentists commonly administer.


Lidocaine is a local anesthetic. In other words, it numbs the area that it is injected into. Dentists often use lidocaine to numb a tooth and the area around that tooth prior to applying a filling or a crown. You'll feel a pinch as the lidocaine is injected and probably a gentle burn or tingle as the medication flows into your tissues. But then, the area will just be numb, and it will remain that way for about 3 hours. Lidocaine is a very safe medication, and it can even be used in pregnant women at low doses. 


If you have a really deep cavity or need a more extensive procedure, like a root canal, your dentist may administer a medication called bupivacaine. It's also a local anesthetic, like lidocaine, but it is stronger and tends to block pain more completely. Again, you'll feel a pinch as it is injected into your cheek or gum tissue. Bupivacaine does take a little longer to kick in than lidocaine, and it can also last longer — up to 8 hours in some patients — which is one reason why dentists like to use it for longer and more involved procedures.


If you are someone who gets really nervous or anxious at the dentist, or if you need to have a more involved procedure performed, your dentist may give you an injection of propofol. This medication is a sedative. It won't put you to sleep, but it will make you very sleepy and relaxed, and you may not remember what happened during your dental appointment after it wears off.

Nitrous Oxide

This is another really popular pharmaceutical used in dentistry, and unlike the others on this list, it is not injected. Instead, it is a gas you inhale through a mask. It will calm you down and make you relaxed. Its colloquial name is "laughing gas." It wears off very quickly once you stop inhaling it, and side effects are rare, which is why dentists use it so often.

Hopefully, this article has given you a better understanding of the medications your dentist is most likely to recommend and use. Rest assured that these medications are all quite common and are all very safe.

Contact a company like P3 Dental Technologies to learn more about this subject.