Numbness following a dental procedure in which an anesthetic is used dissipates on its own within five hours, according to Jonathan Campbell, D.D.S. for Legacy Dental. Engaging in an activity, such as walking, helps the numbness go away sooner. The dentist can also inject Oraverse to reverse the effects of the anesthetic once the procedure is over.
Dr. Campbell explains that a person's blood carries the anesthetic away from the site of the injection so it can be broken down or metabolized. This process takes several hours. Activity hastens this process, so if the dentist approves, the patient can walk or exercise to help the body overcome the effects of the anesthetic.
Oraverse can make the numbness go away twice as fast, notes Dr. Campbell. This treatment comes with a cost that is not covered by dental insurance. Lidocaine and articaine are the anesthetics most commonly used by American dentists to numb their patients' mouths prior to a dental procedure. Adrenaline or epinephrine are often included to increase the longevity of the anesthetizing effects. The tooth is normally numb for one to two hours following administration of the anesthetic, while the lips and tongue are often numb for three to five hours.