Though I am fairly young (early 30s) my mouth is in rough shape. I allowed this to happen because of multiple bad experiences in the dental chair. This is mostly due to my high tolerance for Novocain. It seems no matter how many extra shots the dentist gives me, I am still in pain during the procedure. However, it has gotten to where I am going to lose a tooth or two if I don’t get this under control. Do you have any advice for me?
Many dentists are unaware that anxiety in the dental chair can actually cause, then perpetuate, a high tolerance for Novocain. This has a circular effect because you are then left with yet another painful dental experience that, in turn, makes you even more anxious. Relaxing a patient ahead of time makes a huge difference.
Types of Dental Sedation
I have found the easiest way to deal with this is to give patients some form of dental sedation. The type of sedation given to them will mostly depend on their level of anxiety. For many, just some simple nitrous oxide is enough to get the job done.
Sometimes dubbed laughing gas, this medicine is administered by a gas you breathe in through a nosepiece. It will give you a relaxed feeling that will allow the Novocain to do its job. An additional benefit to this type of sedation is there is little to no disruption to the remainder of your day. Once the procedure is over, the dentist will simply switch the gas to straight oxygen. Within just a few moments you are ready to go, capable of driving and going back to work if you’d like to.
Every once in a while, I will find a patient who has such a high level of anxiety that nitrous oxide isn’t enough. When this happens, I suggest oral conscious sedation. This is administered with a pill but is much stronger. Most patients end up sleeping through their entire appointment. The one downside with the strength is you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you for a couple of hours afterward until you are lucid and steady on your feet.Hopefully, if you get the care you need immediately, you will be able to save your teeth. If you do end up needing a tooth replacement, I will highly suggest a dental implant. This is the closest thing to having a healthy, natural tooth in your mouth.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.