Local anesthetics are frequently administered in dentistry and thus can be expected to be a major source of drug-related complications in the dental office. Additionally, the dentist will more often be confronted with the treatment of risk patients; thus, the incidence of side effects can be expected to rise. In this study, 2731 patients receiving dental anesthesia were evaluated by questionnaire for risk factors, type and dosage of local anesthetic applied, type and duration of treatment, and complications associated with the administration of the local anesthetic. Of all patients, 45.9% had at least one risk factor in their medical histories, with cardiovascular diseases and allergies being the most frequent. The overall incidence of complications was 4.5%. It was significantly higher in risk patients (5.7%) than in nonrisk patients (3.5%). The most frequently observed complications (dizziness, tachycardia, agitation, nausea, tremor) were transient in nature and did not require treatment. Severe complications (seizure, bronchospasm) occurred in only two cases (0.07%). Articaine was found to be administered in over 90% of all dental anesthesias in Germany despite the great variety of local anesthetics available. Articaine 1:100,000 caused more sympathomimetic side effects than did articaine 1:200,000. Additionally, doses of local anesthetics proved not to be strictly determined according to body weight, especially for patients weighing less than 50 kg. In summary, it can be stated that dental local anesthesia can be considered safe. Nevertheless, the incidence of complications due to dental anesthesia can be expected to be further reduced if (a) patients are routinely evaluated for risk factors with an adequate medical history prior to dental treatment, (b) doses of local anesthetics are strictly determined according to body weight, (c) anesthetics with low concentrations of epinephrine are used, and (d) the concept of a differentiated dental anesthesia is applied.