Hesperian Health Guides

After You Give an Injection

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HealthWiki > Where There Is No Dentist > Chapter 9: Injecting Inside the Mouth > After You Give an Injection


Before you begin treatment, test the tooth and gums to be sure that they are numb. Wait 5 minutes for the anesthetic to start working. Ask the person how his
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lips feel — they should feel ‘heavy’ or numb. Then test the area.

Poke the gums between the teeth with a clean probe.

Watch the person’s eyes — you will see if you are hurting. If the person still feels pain, stop. Think about your injection technique, and inject again.

After you finish treatment, always talk to the person about what you have done. Tell the person what to expect, and how to be careful with the numb area of the mouth:

  • The area will feel normal again in about 1 hour.
  • Do not bite or scratch the area while there is no feeling.
  • Do not drink anything hot. It can burn the skin inside the mouth.

With a child, always place a ball of cotton between the teeth on the side where you injected. The child should leave it there for 2 hours, until the area feels normal again. Explain this to the mother, and give her a bit of extra cotton to take home. It is much better for the child to chew cotton instead of the numb lip or cheek!

Try not to hurt anyone. You can treat a bad tooth easier, faster, and without pain if you inject local anesthetic slowly and carefully into the right place.



This page was updated:19 Feb 2018