Gary S. Rafal, D.D.S.
Novocain is the name for one of the first local anesthetics developed, and has become the universal name for all locals. There are now many products which produce rapid, complete, and safe local anesthesia. They may contain a small amount of epinephrine (synthetic adrenaline). Epinephrine constricts the blood vessels to reduce the blood flow in the area, so that less anesthetic solution may be used and still produce profound anesthesia for a longer period.
Since an anesthetic with epinephrine produces deeper, longer lasting anesthesia, it also reduces the patient’s anxiety. Since anxiety induces the body to secrete its own adrenaline, nothing is gained by avoiding epinephrine. On the contrary, if the anesthetic wears off too soon and pain is experienced, more natural adrenaline will be pumped into the bloodstream than the small amount contained in the anesthetic solution. Check with your physician so that he/she can work with your dentist if you have any concerns.