I went in for a dental procedure which ended up being a complete disaster. He tried shot after shot of Novocain to get me numb and nothing worked. He gave up after twelve shots. It was the most discouraging thing I’ve been through. I don’t want to go back unless we figure out what’s going on, but I also know I need to get this tooth extracted.
I think I know what is going on here. When patients have dental anxiety, it affects their metabolism. The higher the anxiety, often the higher the metabolism. When your metabolism kicks in, it burns off the numbing medication. This is likely what is happening to you.
The way to get your local anesthetic to work properly is to deal with the anxiety. I’m going to suggest you see a dentist who offers sedation options. Finding the right level of sedation for you will take down your anxiety enough to allow the numbing medication to work.
I would start with nitrous oxide. This has sometimes been dubbed laughing gas, not because it makes you laugh but it does make you feel floaty and very relaxed. You are still alert and completely able to function, but it eases your anxiety. When that happens, the Novocain can do its job. A huge benefit of using nitrous, unlike other forms of sedation, when your procedure is over your dentist will simply switch the gas to oxygen and you are able to get on with your day as normal.
Use Dental Sedation to Keep You From a Dental Emergency
I am a little concerned that your bad experience will keep you from getting your tooth extracted. If this procedure is necessary because of a tooth infection you don’t want to put off treatment. This is considered a dental emergency.
Unless infected tooth pulp is physically removed, the infection will continue to spread. Antibiotics will not solve the problem. If the infection reaches your brain, heart, or lungs it can become life-threatening very quickly. Those organs are quite close to your jaw.
Patients with anxiety and bad experiences at the dentist tend to avoid regular care and only go when there’s a problem. Using dental sedation can help you get through regular care without pain or anxiety and allow you to avoid the decay and infections which result without checkups and cleanings.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.