My dentist put a paste on my gums and ended up giving six injections, yet none of that helped. He gave me pain meds and sent me home and said we’d try again. We did this three times and he can’t get me numb. He’s never had this happen before. I’m in tremendous pain and still in need of my root canal treatment. Do you have any idea why he can’t get me numb?
I know precisely what is going on and how to prevent it as well. This has happened to other patients, including dentists when they were patients. One thing many people don’t realize, including some dentists, is that anxiety affects the numbing medication.
It’s almost as if the anxiety causes your metabolism to burn it up too quickly. The stronger the anxiety, the less effective the medication. Fortunately, there is a solution.
Sedation Dentistry Changes Lives
The easiest way to counter this is with dental sedation. Most dentists offer two levels:
- Nitrous Oxide
This is sometimes nicknamed laughing gas. It is best used for patients with mild anxiety. Your dentist will put a nosepiece on you which provides the gas you’ll inhale. It will relax you and let you feel floaty. This helps take the edge off of the axiety and makes the numbing medication more effective.
- Oral Conscious Sedation
This is a higher level of sedation and works for patients who have more severe anxiety. It’s likely what you are facing. The good news is this is also a simple procedure. You’ll take a pill before your appointment. It will completely relax you. And I mean completely.
You will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you until you are lucid again. It’s highly effective and will allow you to get your root canal treatment with no problem whatsoever.
While nitrous is fairly easy to work with, when it comes to oral conscious sedation you’ll want a dentist who is DOCS certified. This shows they have the right training ensuring your safety.
I hope this puts your mind at ease. You will be able to get the treatment you need.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.