Local anesthesia refers to using a drug called an anesthetic to temporarily numb a small area of your body. Your doctor might use a local anesthetic before doing a minor procedure, such as a skin biopsy. You might also receive local anesthesia before a dental procedure, such as a tooth extraction. Unlike general anesthesia, local anesthesia doesn’t make you fall asleep.
Local anesthetics work by preventing the nerves in the affected area from communicating sensations of pain to your brain. It’s sometimes used with a sedative. This helps you relax.