Where and how do dentists inject anaesthesia?

There is a saying that ‘pain is inevitable, but suffering is optional’.

If you’ve ever experienced tooth pain, then you know that interjections such as “ouch”, “ah”, and “oh” don’t even come close to expressing the pain you feel when a tooth is torturing your face. All you want is for the pain to go away, even if that means ripping out your tooth with a string and a slamming door. (Please- do not do that!)

Tooth pain is most often caused by decay, cavities, or more serious problems such as gingivitis, all of which can cause extreme discomfort and can manifest into much larger problems if ignored.

However, there is light at the end of the pain tunnel. Anaesthesia acts as a localised numbing of a specific area to relieve pain immediately and allow the dentist to work the magic required to fix whatever is tormenting you.

Typically administered by injecting medicine into the gum or inner cheek, the anaesthetic targets nerves and blocks them from transmitting pain signals to the brain. The goal is for your procedure to be painless (yes, painless), and for you to undergo your treatment without anxiety or stress. Local anaesthesia also allows you to remain conscious throughout the procedure but in absence of pain or discomfort.


Where and how do dentists inject anaesthesia?

At Adelaide Dental, there are two types of anaesthetic injections which our dentists alternate between, depending on the treatment you’re undergoing. On the one hand, our dentists may choose to numb a whole section of your mouth –using what is called a block injection. On the other hand, our friendly team may choose an infiltration injection which only targets one specific area or tooth.

Before starting the procedure, air will be used to dry the part of your mouth which is going to be injected. Once that is dry, a numbing agent is applied, and that’s meant to ensure that the injection will be painless. Now it’s time for the injection –forget about the size of the needle, remember that you won’t feel a thing!

It’s important to note that the numbing effect of the local anaesthetic injection often lasts up to eight hours. This means that you shouldn’t be surprised if you slur your words, are mildly “happy”, or have trouble eating. It can be amusing to yourself and others around you, but you should still be cautious do not inadvertently cause damage.


Potential side effect of anaesthetic injections

Similar to other drugs, local anaesthetics have potential side effects attached to their use. These effects vary from person to person, making it essential to be aware of what may happen:

  • Temporary problems while eating, drinking and talking
  • You may feel dizzy or suffer from blurry vision
  • Allergic reactions may occur; symptoms include rashes or tingling of the lips
  • Mild headache or nausea
  • Short-term loss of your muscle control and coordination because of the extreme relaxation


Anaesthetic procedures can be daunting when you don’t have all the facts. Pop in for a consultation, let us know of any allergies or current medications you’re using, and we can help you decide which option is the best to suit your needs. We are conveniently located in Rundle Mall Adelaide across from the Myer Centre and are always happy to have a chat with you!