I think there’s something wrong with me. My poor dentist felt so bad about what happened that he didn’t even charge me for the last two appointments where he’s tried to get me numb. He really tried too. After ten shots. TEN. I still wasn’t numb and the pain was excruciating. I was crying. He even teared up because he didn’t like seeing me suffer. He said in all his years he’s never had that happen. I don’t know what to do and neither does he. Do you have any idea?
First, let me say how sorry I am you went through such a disastrous experience. However, I absolutely love the empathy your dentist showed. It warms my heart to hear about members of the dental community showing they care what a patient is experiencing. Please tell your dentist he has my respect. My respect doesn’t take care of your problem though, does it?
To put your mind at ease, I believe I know exactly what was going on. I suspect, though you may not realize it, that you have some pretty substantial dental anxiety. For some patients, like you, they may have the anxiety but are used to doing things that frighten them and just put on their big girl clothes and do what needs to be done. Others, though, are so frightened they can’t even get through the door.
Even though you are extraordinarily brave and move forward when frightened, it doesn’t stop your body’s response to fear. Your metabolism jumps through the roof. When that happens it burns off the numbing medication before it can take effect. Your dentist could have given you shots all day long and it wouldn’t have worked.
Dental Sedation Helps Patients Who Can’t Get Numb
What you need is something which will help you relax enough to allow your local anesthetic to work. Dental sedation is likely the perfect solution for you. There are several levels of sedation available. The first is nitrous oxide. It’s also known as laughing gas. It relaxes you a bit and could be all you need. You wil be right back to normal by the end of the appointment and able to leave on your own.
If that’s not enough, you could get oral conscious sedation. This is quite strong and will make you groggy. You’ll still be awake, if you want to be, but will be so completely relaxed you could sleep through the entire procedure if you wanted to. However, you will need someone to drive you home and stay with you throughout the day until the medicine wears off.
You’ll also find you can get more work done at each appointment than you normally would too. I don’t want you to have to put off your necessary work and then it blow up into a dental emergency.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.