Local anaesthesia (“freezing”) blocks the sensation of pain for patients and enables dentists to perform more extensive procedures that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. Freezing is a very important tool for dentists to undertake restorative dental work, however the effects of freezing can persist for some time after the completion of the procedures. The persistence of freezing can lead to a sensation of numbness in the lips and cheeks of patients. Patients often express concerns about feeling self-conscious regarding their appearance post-anaesthetic. The anaesthetic can cause patients difficulty with normal activities, such as smiling, speaking clearly, and drinking properly. Some patients can even experience some drooling as a side-effect of the loss of sensation.
In rare cases, the persistent numbness can lead to accidental self injury, where patients bite the inside of their lips or cheek due to the lack of sensation. These injuries are not usually particularly severe, but they can contribute to painful swell and further discomfort once the freezing has worn off. These lingering anaesthetic effects can be frustrating and embarrassing, and can contribute to some patients’ reticence to undertake necessary dental work.
We at InHarmony Dental Care want to remove any barriers to maintaining our patient’s oral health as possible, including concerns regarding dental hesitancy as a result of being self-conscious. As a result, we have started to offer OraVerse as an option for patients after the application of freezing.
OraVerse helps to reverse the numbing sensation of local anaesthetic caused by freezing. OraVerse is applied at the conclusion of the dental work and serves to more rapidly restore patients to their normal levels of sensation. Patients report that they returned to usual sensory sensitivity -that is, felt as they normally do pre-anaesthesia- in roughly half the time with the application of OraVerse. On average, patients tended to return to normal sensation in the upper lip within 133 minutes; with OraVerse, this time was reduced to an average of 50 minutes. Similarly, patients typically recovered from numbness in the lower lip in around 155 minutes while patients who received OraVerse noted they were back to full sensation in around 70 minutes.
Dental discomfort can take many forms, including the self-consciousness associated with a perceived sense of altered appearance. InHarmony Dental Care believes that maintaining your oral health is an important aspect of overall wellness. We seek to make dentistry as accessible as possible however we can. Rest assured that even when the use of freezing is necessary, we are doing all we can to get you feeling back to your normal self as quickly as possible. It’s just one more way that we are the Practice With Patience.