[What is the cause of failure of local anesthesia?]

Rev Belge Med Dent (1984). 2000;55(1):41-50.
[Article in French]


Local anesthesia fails in 10% of cases of inferior alveolar nerve block and 7% of all cases of local anesthesia in general practice. Possible causes of failure are infection, wrong selection of local anesthetic solution, technical mistakes, anatomical variations with accessory innervation and anxiety of the patient. In this publication we discuss reasons for frequent failure in case of infection and in inferior alveolar nerve block. Understanding the mechanism of failure in local anesthesia, makes it possible to formulate guidelines to guarantee success. These measures are discussed in detail.

MeSH terms

  • Anesthesia, Dental* / adverse effects
  • Anesthesia, Dental* / classification
  • Anesthesia, Local* / adverse effects
  • Anesthetics, Local / administration & dosage
  • Anxiety / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Infections / physiopathology
  • Mandible / innervation
  • Mandible / pathology
  • Mandibular Nerve / drug effects
  • Mandibular Nerve / pathology
  • Maxilla / innervation
  • Maxilla / pathology
  • Nerve Block / adverse effects


  • Anesthetics, Local