I need some help. I cannot get numb at the dentist no matter how many shots I’m given. I don’t have a reaction to it either positive or negative. I don’t have allergies, but nothing he tried has worked. Getting any dental work done aside from a simple cleaning is torture. I need a lot of repairs as a result. Have you ever encountered this? My dentist is at a loss and I’m afraid I’m going to lose teeth if I can’t find a solution.
It is fantastic that you’re looking for solutions instead of avoiding dental care. Too many people do that and wind up with serious dental emergencies on their hands (and mouth). Fortunately, I think I know exactly what is going on. In fact, there have been many patients (as well as a few dentists) who’ve gone through just what you are right now.
When you have any level of anxiety, your adrenaline kicks in, which causes your numbing medicine to burn off too quickly to be useful to you.
Some patients have dental anxiety without realizing it. That doesn’t make you a coward. It’s just your body’s response to trauma. That trauma could have happened in your childhood, as it did for one dentist acquaintance of mine. His childhood dentist did procedures without any numbing medication at all! Insane.
Getting Novocain to Work
The best way to solve this problem is to use a level of dental sedation which relaxes you enough to allow it to work. Usually, one of two levels will ease your anxiety.
The lightest level is nitrous oxide. This is administered through a nosepiece where you’ll breathe in the gas. It will make you feel relaxed and a bit floaty. For many patients, this is just enough to relax them and allow the Novocain to do its job properly.
Aside from relaxing you, it has an additional benefit of allowing you do get on with your day as you normally would when the procedure is over. There are no residual effects.
If your anxiety is on the higher side, you may want to go with the next level of sedation— oral conscious sedation. This is administered by taking a pill. It’s super strong though and completely relaxes you. You’ll be so relaxed you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment as well as stay with you at home until you’re lucid again. Some people call this sleep dentistry because many patients will sleep completely through the entire appointment.
One of these methods is sure to help you get your dental health back in order. It may give you enough positive experiences where you’ll no longer even need dental sedation.
This blog is brought to you by Libertyville, IL Dentist Dr. David Potts.