Lidocaine allergy scare at the dentist. What now?

Sedation dentistry can help calm a patient before an appointment. Often, past negative experiences are a trigger, including those like the one described below where a patient had a reaction to local anesthetic.

It’s weird how a person’s body changes over time. Prior to 3 years ago, I had very few allergies or sensitivities. Now I am gluten sensitive and sensitive to nuts. I have not been that concerned about food allergies, because there are so many other things that I can eat. My concern comes from a dental visit earlier this month. I had a nagging toothache that came from damaged pulp in my tooth due to an impact on the left side of my face. The dentist gave me a painless injection of lidocaine. Within 10 minutes my gums were burning and itching like crazy, and I got chills. She said that it looked like I was having an allergic reaction, and I was. My dentist was nice and calm and gave me something to counteract the reaction. She wasn’t able to start the root canal. The tooth still hurts, but now I’m nervous. I know my dentist won’t give me lidocaine again, but now my anxiety level is high. What if I can’t get numb? She tells me that she can safely get me numb, but I’m concerned. What do I do now? Katia


We are sorry to hear about your reaction to lidocaine. It’s good that your dentist quickly resolved this issue. Lidocaine is in the amide group of local anesthetics. Other types of anesthetic in this class include:

  • Mepivacaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Ropivacaine

Sedation Dentistry Can Help

Head and shoulders photo of a man and woman lying in a field of flowers, for information on sedation dentistry from Plano TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Sedation dentistry helps you relax

Sedation dentistry can help you relax in advance of your dental appointment. But now that you and your dentist know that you’re allergic to lidocaine, what can be done? Your dentist knows to provide a different class of anesthetic. Patients who cannot tolerate amides often do well with local anesthetics in the ester group.

What you can do

  • Be certain to record your history on future medical or dental history forms that you complete.
  • Speak with your dentist about your concerns about anesthetic, as well as the types of sedation she offers to help you remain calm.
  • If your dentist doesn’t offer sedation dentistry, search for a dentist who is able to provide it.

Nitrous oxide, oral conscious sedation (anti-anxiety medication in pill form), or both are offered by many dentists. You can be confident that the right level of sedation will help you relax and continue to have positive dental experiences.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Unfairly Disqualified from Free Teeth Whitening Offer

I think I’ve been scammed. At my new dentist’s office, I was told that as a new patient, I qualified for a free teeth whitening offer. That wasn’t the only reason I chose the dentist, but it was certainly a motivating factor. I’m in the military – active duty – and I was deployed for 16 months. Obviously, I could not make it to the dentist for my regular appointments while on assignment. When I returned to the dentist, I asked for my free whitening gel. I was told I no longer qualify because I didn’t come in for my cleanings. That’s crazy. Is there any logical reason for them to do this, or are they just being difficult? Thanks. Kristin


It’s very unfortunate your dental office has chosen not to honor their agreement to give you free teeth whitening. Many dental offices use free whitening to attract new patients and help you keep preventive appointments.

What’s More Important than Free Teeth Whitening?

Photo of upper and lower teeth whitening trays in a blue case; for information on teeth alignment from the office Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.
Teeth whitening trays

Your oral health is a priority over aesthetics, including free whitening. If you have cavities, gum disease, or other issues, it’s not a good idea to focus on the appearance of your teeth while letting your oral health suffer. Your oral health needs to be restored first.

Depending on the severity of the issues with your teeth, there may be exceptions. For example, if you only need a filling or other restorative work, the whitening should be completed first so restorative material can be selected to match the lighter shade of your teeth.

If your oral health is good, you’ve received a recent dental cleaning, and your original whitening trays still fit, your dental office should be willing to resume your free whitening privileges. Unfortunately, if they refuse to do so, there is little that can be done about it. However, you may want to speak with the dentist directly to explain why you were not available to keep your cleaning appointments. He or she might agree to provide you with free teeth whitening.

This blog is sponsored by Dr. Miranda Lacy. Get details on Dr. Lacy’s offer for free teeth whitening in Plano.