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Local Anesthesia Defined

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Updated January 04, 2009

Definition: Local anesthesia is a type of pain prevention used during minor procedures to numb a small site where pain is likely to occur without changing the patient's awareness.

A numbing medication is either applied to or injected into the area, sometimes with several small injections, and after a few minutes the area should be completely numb. If the area still has sensation, additional injections or applications may be given to insure total numbness.

Local anesthesia is most commonly associated with dental procedures, where the gum is numbed with an injection of medication, or minor medical procedures like stitches.

More Information: All About Anesthesia

Alternate Spellings: anesthaesia,
Examples:
Before her root canal she received a local anesthetic, numbing the area and preventing her from feeling pain when the tooth was removed.
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