• Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia

  • Informed Consent: Patient Information

  • As part of the recent Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and informed consent guidelines updates, this information page answers frequently asked questions about having local and regional (nerve block) anaesthetic. It has been developed to be used in discussion with your treating dental professional so you are adequately informed about the benefits and risks of Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia.
  • 1. What is local and regional (nerve block) anaesthetic and how will it help me?

    A local and regional (nerve block) anaesthetic is used to numb your mouth to stop you feeling pain during the dental procedure. Although you won’t feel pain or discomfort, you will be awake during your procedure (unlike being asleep during a general anaesthetic). Local anaesthetic generally has less side-effects and less risks than a general anaesthetic (which is also generally a safe procedure). Unfortunately, general anaesthetic is not an available treatment at Choice Dental.
  • 2. What are the benefits of a Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?

    The benefits include:
    • Reduced or zero pain felt during the dental procedure
    • Higher chance of dental treatment success due to reduced risk of unwanted patient movement during the procedure (common when patients flinch from pain)
    • Reduced need for a general anaesthetic altogether
    • Pain relief after your dental treatment which will assist you with your comfort
  • 3. What are the specific types of Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia techniques used?

    The following techniques are used most commonly throughout the dental profession and are the ones used at this practice:
    • Inferior Alveolar Nerve Block (which also numbs the Lingual Nerve)
    • Buccal Infiltration
    • Palatal/Lingual Infiltration
    • Mental Nerve Block
    • Greater Palatine Nerve Block
    • Associated other techniques on a case-by-case basis.
  • 4. What are the risks of Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?
    Although every anaesthetic (and medical procedure) has a risk of side effects and complications, Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia is generally overwhelmingly extremely safe. The benefits greatly outweigh the rare risks of complications. Nonetheless, even with best-practice techniques to reduce adverse outcomes as much as possible, it is important you understand the following side effects, complications and risks.

    Common side effects and complications include:
    • pain and bruising at the injection site.

    Uncommon side effects and complications include:
    • temporary altered nerve sensation, for 3 to 12 months, causing altered taste and mouth sensation, weakness and/or numbness, and increased saliva flow
    • the local anaesthetic does not work: this may require a further injection of anaesthetic or a different type of anaesthetic. In rare cases, treatment under general anaesthetic may be necessary if Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia is not effective.
    • infection at the site of injection requiring antibiotics and further treatment
    • damage to surrounding structures such as blood vessels, nerves and muscles (despite using best-practice Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia administration techniques)

    Rare risks and complications include:
    • permanent altered nerve sensation and function (0.0011% to 0.0033% chance)
    • overdose of local anaesthetic (extremely rare)
    • seizures (extremely rare)
    • cardiac arrest (extremely rare)
    • allergy to the local anaesthetic solution (rare)
    • death (extremely rare).
  • 5. What are the risks of not having this Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?

    There are serious consequences if you choose not to have the proposed anaesthetic. These include:
    • Unable to safely perform the dental procedure due to the painful nature of dental treatment when performed without anaesthetic
    • Continued deterioration of the existing dental problem or dental infection, leading to spread of pain/infection/disease, which may lead to more invasive dental and medical treatment later, and in the rare case, hospitalisation due to life-threatening systemic infection.
    • Referral to another dental practice to undertake treatment under general anaesthetic so the treatment can be performed safely.
  • 6. Who will give me the Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?

    Your local anaesthetic will be given to you by an Australian registered dental professional adequately trained and highly experienced in the delivery of local anaesthetic.
  • 7. What are my responsibilities before having a Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?

    You are at less risk of problems from an anaesthetic if you do the following:

    • Stop smoking as early as possible before your treatment day to give your lungs and heart a chance to improve. Phone 13 QUIT (13 78 48) if you require smoking cessation assistance.
    • Drink less alcohol, as alcohol may alter the effect of the anaesthetic medicines.
    - Ideally, do not drink any alcohol 24 hours before dental treatment with local anaesthetic
    • Stop taking recreational drugs (this includes recreational smoking such as marijuana) before your treatment day as these may affect the anaesthetic.
    • Inform the dental professional of any drug addiction.
    • Inform the dental professional of previous problems and/or known family problems with anaesthesia, or if you are feeling unwell
  • 8. What happens after the Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia procedure?

    The area that has been numbed may remain numb or weak for usually 7 hours and sometimes up to 24 hours. For your own safety: • take care not to injure, bite or bump the area that has been numbed with the local anaesthetic as you will not be able to feel pain • do not place hot or very cold things on the affected area as this could cause burns • if the numbness/weakness has not gone away after 48 hours, contact the practice.
  • 9. What if I have questions to ask my dental professional?

    Ask your doctor/healthcare professional if you do not understand any aspect of this document or any other information you have been given about your condition, treatment options and proposed procedure.
  • 10. Do I need to fill in this form every time I get dental treatment with Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia?

    This signed form will be kept on file so that you do not need to complete this form again for future Local and Regional (nerve block) Anaesthesia events. You will only be required to complete this form again if the best-practice techniques in giving local anaesthesia changes drastically. We will inform you if this occurs. For your reference, the current techniques in giving local anaesthesia have not changed for over 30years and has been proven highly effective.
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