What is Anesthetic? How Long does Local Anesthetic Last?


Anesthesia is a state of temporary loss of awareness or sensation which is done on purpose for medical treatment. In doing so, the patient is given a local anesthetic that makes sure a person has reduced or no feeling in a part of his or her body for a short duration. For instance, when a person needs to undergo a root canal treatment, local anesthesia is administered near the tooth to ensure the gums and tooth feel no pain for a while.

How Long does Local Anesthetic Last?

How long will a local anesthetic last would depend on the type of local anesthetic used, the region in which it is administered and the physique of the person. In most cases, anesthesia will wear off in a few hours, and in some cases, its effects might last up to a day.

If you plan to drive yourself back home after a surgery or a medical procedure in which local anesthetic is used, you should consult with your doctor in this regard. It is advised that you don’t drive yourself or operate any heavy machinery or make a life-altering decision until the anesthesia wears off completely.

How to Know if the Anesthesia is Wearing Off?

The main sign that says anesthesia is wearing off is the return of pain. As anesthesia suppresses pain, when it wears off, the pain would return, and you will probably need pain medications to fight it off. Return of movement in the affected area is another sign that says that anesthesia is wearing off. Some of you might have to deal with confusion or thinking problems even after anesthesia is worn off. This lingering side effect would usually go away on its own and would rarely need you to consult with a medical professional.