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You’ll usually have a local anaesthetic for most simple procedures on your teeth. This may be when you’re having a tooth removed or another dental procedure such as a filling. You’re more likely to have a general anaesthetic if you:
- are very anxious
- have an infection around the injection site
- are prone to bleeding problems
- are having major surgery
You may be offered a sedative as well if you’re very anxious or if you’re having your wisdom teeth taken out.
Local anaesthetic eye drops may sting at first, but shouldn’t cause any pain. They usually start working in less than a minute. Local anaesthetic injections for the eyes shouldn’t hurt at all.
You may have a local anaesthetic if you’re having surgery near or on your eye – for example, having a cataract removed. Or you may have a local anaesthetic if you have something in your eye that is difficult to remove. A doctor or surgeon will decide which anaesthetic is the best one for you, depending on the procedure.
You can buy some local anaesthetic products over the counter from pharmacies to treat some mild, common conditions.
- Haemorrhoids (piles) – local anaesthetic creams may ease pain, burning and itching. But don’t use these for more than a few days or you could irritate your anus.
- Sore throats – lozenges containing a local anaesthetic may help to ease pain. But research hasn’t found that local anaesthetic mouth sprays work very well on their own. Don’t use these products just before you eat, as you may choke on your food.
- Mouth ulcers – you can buy local anaesthetic lozenges and sprays to ease mouth ulcer pain. But the numbing effect doesn’t last very long.
- Sore nipples when you’re breastfeeding – you can use a local anaesthetic cream to ease the pain. But remember to wash it off before the next breastfeed.
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This information was published by Bupa's Health Content Team and is based on reputable sources of medical evidence. It has been reviewed by appropriate medical or clinical professionals and deemed accurate on the date of review. Photos are only for illustrative purposes and do not reflect every presentation of a condition.
Any information about a treatment or procedure is generic, and does not necessarily describe that treatment or procedure as delivered by Bupa or its associated providers.
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