I have a tooth that has been hurting me on and off. My sister keeps telling me that it is a serious thing and I need to see a dentist. I don’t see a cavity and I’ve never had a good experience with a dentist and can never seem to get numb. Can I wait until I see a cavity?
I can tell that you’ve had some difficult experiences at the dentist. That makes it hard to go in without a very compelling reason. Before I give you any reason for going to the dentist, I want to put your mind at ease. There are ways to see a dentist without all the pain you have experienced in the past.
I’d like you to see a dentist who offers some type of dental sedation. For instance, Dr. Becker offers nitrous oxide. This is sometimes called laughing gas, not because it makes you giggle, but it does give you a relaxed floaty feeling. Once you’re relaxed the numbing medications you are given are significantly more effective. Often, when you have dental anxiety, it kicks up your metabolism in a way that inhibits the numbing medicine from working properly. This is likely why you’ve had trouble getting numb. Using the nitrous will change that chemical reaction in your body and allow you to have a pain free appointment.
You will also find that sedation dentists tend to be more compassionate toward anxious patients. They will not judge you or lecture you. Instead, they’ll work to make you as peaceful and comfortable as possible.
As to a toothache being serious, it can be. You don’t have to see a cavity for their to be a problem. You can have internal decay or even an infection. When a tooth infection is left untreated it can spread beyond your tooth and even beyond your jaw. Antibiotics do not solve a tooth infection because the pulp of the tooth eventually dies and then there is no blood flow for the medicine to reach the infected tissue. A dentist has to physically remove it.
The earlier you get treatment, the less invasive the solution will have to be. Find that sedation dentist and you will find it makes your dental appointments much easier to deal with.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.