Can Numbness Be Reversed?

By Catherine M. Fascilla, D.D.S.

Most of us are used to numbness lasting several hours at the dentist after the injection of a local anesthetic. For the majority, the effects of the anesthetic wears off after two to three hours . Some patients however, report anesthesia lasting much longer than that.

Long-lasting anesthesia is very important for surgical procedures but for most of the routine restorative procedures, numbness can be limiting. It affects your speech, your smile and your ability to drink. Some patients may even bite their cheeks or tongue. There is a way that may speed up the return of normal sensation to the tissues of the mouth. OraVerse (Phentolamine mesylate) reverses unwanted numbness after routine dental procedures where local anesthetic containing a vasoconstrictor was used. It is a vasodilator and is administered by your dentist the same way the local anesthetic was given.

Clinical trials using OraVerse have resulted in patients regaining normal sensation in half the time. On average people who are given OraVerse return to normal sensation twice as fast. They can smile, speak and drink normally sooner and drooling is minimized. The most common adverse reaction found during clinical studies with OraVerse greater than the control group is injection site pain (5% vs 4%). The additional injection to reverse the effects of the initial injection of anesthetic created soreness for 5% of those who received Oraverse.

If it is very important that you regain feeling in your lips and tongue faster and that you can speak and drink normally as soon as possible after dental treatment, OraVerse might be something that you are interested in. Your dentist can provide you with more information.

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