I need some help. I’ve had horrible experiences at the dentist. I’ve always had a high tolerance for Novocain which is what makes my appointments a nightmare. As a young woman, I avoided the dentist like the plague. Now, I’m paying for that. I’d really love to take control of my oral health and appearance. With that in mind, I need some advice. First, is there a way to make the necessary work as painless os possible? I guess I’m hoping there have been advancements and there’s an alternative to Novocain. Second, once the health of my teeth are in shape, I’d like to improve their appearance. How do you find a good cosmetic dentist?
Our chemical make-up is amazing, along with how differently each body responds. Take thyroid medication for example. Two patients can take the exact same dose and the way their body’s respond is so different as to think they’re taking different medications altogether.
Another reason you may have a high tolerance to Novocain could be dental anxiety. Most people are a tad uncomfortable in the dental chair. If you compound that with the many bad experiences you’ve had the misfortune to go through at the dentist, your anxiety would be compounded. Anxiety causes the topical anesthetic to metabolize more quickly. `This would lead to your high tolerance.
Dealing with Dental Anxiety
I’m going to suggest you see a sedation dentist as you embark on getting your oral health under control. There are two typical levels available to patients, though some sedation dentists offer a third.
The mildest form is nitrous oxide (pictured above). You inhale a gas through a nose piece. It may be enough to relax you and allow the Novocain to do its job. The second is oral conscious sedation. It is done with a pill, but is significantly stronger. If fact, it is so strong, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you afterward until you are lucid again.
Using sedation has an additional benefit. Your dentist will be able to get more work done in each sitting. This will enable you to catch up with your needed dental work much sooner than would otherwise be possible.
Finding a Cosmetic Dentist
As to your second question, this is both easy and difficult. The best cosmetic dentists have reached accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentists. AACD accredited dentists are in the top 1% of cosmetic dentists in the country. They can provide you with a stunning smile. The top of the line procedure for that will be to use porcelain veneers.
Based on the condition of your teeth you may need a combination of porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns. That’s the easy part. the hard part is not many dentists have reached accreditation. You may have to travel to get a stunning smile. If you do, believe me, it will be worth it.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.