I have a problem with dental work. My dentist tries to numb me but it just doesn’t work. I’m not allergic to it. It just doesn’t take effect. Have you encountered this before?
I know exactly what you’re talking about and have encountered this problem several times. It usually stems from having had a previous bad experience in the dental chair, either as a child or adult. Without realizing it, anxiety kicks in. Here’s the part most dentists don’t realize. Once that anxiety has kicked in, it will either block the Novocain from working or burn it off too quickly to be effective.
Fortunately, there is a solution. When a dentist can calm the anxiety before giving you the Novocain, it will work. For those with mild anxiety, nitrous oxide is sufficient. This is administered with a nosepiece (as pictured above). You breathe in the gas and it relaxes you. Then, when your procedure is over, you dentist can switch the gas to oxygen. In just a few moments you are perfectly fine to get on with your day.
It’s important the Novocain isn’t administered until after you’ve relaxed. I’ve known dentists who give the shot, then the nitrous, but it doesn’t work. Yet, if they re-administer after the nitrous it takes effect.
For others, their anxiety is too strong for even the nitrous oxide. They need Oral Conscious Sedation. This is administered with a pill you will take before your procedure. It is so strong, though, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment, as well as remain with you for a few hours after your procedure until you are lucid and steady on your feet.
This can completely change how you get your dental work done. Patients who’d avoided the dentist for years find that they are now able to see the dentist regularly and completely catch up on all their neglected work.
Given your situation, if your dentist doesn’t offer those dental sedation options, you’re going to need to switch to a dentist who does.
This blog is brought to you by Hoffman Estates Dentist Dr. William Becker.