Stanley Dentistry uses a local anesthetic for certain dental procedures. We use it to numb the feeling in one small or "local" region of your mouth for a dental procedure. It takes a few minutes to take effect, and works by preventing nerves from sending pain signals to your brain. It is a convenient method of achieving pain management, and can be used in conjunction with mild sedation if you are experiencing anxiety about your procedure. Local anesthesia is what you will usually receive for procedures like small fillings because it lasts a short time, and wears off in a few hours. Lidocaine is by far the most commonly used local anesthetic drug.