I am at a loss. No one else I know goes through this the way I do. My dentist will give me a shot of Novocain and I will start to go numb. But, by the time he starts the procedure, it wears off. My dental care is excruciating. Have you encountered this? Is there a solution?
Yes, I’m aware of this phenomenon. It usually occurs when someone has dental anxiety due to dental trauma in the past. What happens is your body’s metabolism kicks in and burns off the medication making it almost impossible to get numb. My guess is, at some point, you had a difficult dental appointment which has caused your body to go into overdrive.
There is a good solution. I’d like you to see a dentist who offers dental sedation. Most of them offer two different levels of sedation. I’d start with the lowest level to see if that is all you need. If that doesn’t help, the second level will.
Levels of Dental Sedation
This is the lowest level and the most convenient for you. It’s most effective for patients with a low level of anxiety.
Your dentist will provide nitrous oxide gas for you to breathe through a nose piece. The gas will give you a relaxed floaty feeling. Sometimes, this is all a patient needs to relax them enough to get the numbing medication to work.
One of the biggest benefits of this is when your procedure is done, the dentist simply switches your gas to oxygen and after a few moments, you’re able to go right on with your day. There are no lingering effects from the gas.
Oral Conscious Sedation
Other patients have a higher level of anxiety so nitrous won’t work for them. If that is the case, there is still help.
Oral conscious sedation is highly effective but does require some pre-planning. Your dentist will provide you with a pill to take before your procedure. This pill is strong and will completely relax you. I mean completely. You will need to find a ride to and from your appointment as well as someone to stay with you at home until you are lucid.
You will find yourself completely relaxed and anxiety-free throughout your appointment. It will change your life with the dentist. You’ll also find if you have a lot of neglected dental work which needs to be caught up with, this enables you to catch up faster. Your dentist can get much more work done during each appointment, lowering the number of appointments you need.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.