“My dentist can’t get me numb.” That’s a common concern that many people have about their next dental appointment. And delayed, rescheduled, or cancelled appointments follow. If you have a history of difficult dental appointments during which local anesthetic just didn’t work, you might benefit from knowing some possible causes. And you might be surprised to know why sedation dentistry can make a difference.
3 Reasons Your Dentist May Have Trouble Numbing Your Gums
Adrenaline flow increases with anxiety. It can overwhelm your nervous system and prevent local anesthetic from working at all.
If the local anesthetic is mistakenly placed in the wrong location, it can make it seem as if your gums aren’t getting numb at all. If your dentist proceeds with treatment, the sensitivity or pain can make it feel as if no area is numb at all.
Genetics can cause a variety of conditions make it difficult to numb your gum tissue including:
- Resistance to dental anesthetic in your peripheral nervous system
- Abnormal location of your tooth nerves that make it difficult to precisely inject anesthetic
- High resistance to anesthetics and low pain tolerance
Sedation Dentistry Can Help
Sedation allows your dentist to accomplish more dental work than usual. Fewer interruptions and your prolonged comfort will maximize the productivity of your dental appointment. And sedation can be used whenever you need it—whether it’s for dental cleaning and exam, a new crown, or a dental implant.
- Relaxation – Sedation dentistry relaxes you. It helps you avoid a surge of adrenaline that can interfere with the effectiveness of local anesthetic. It will also help you remain calm as your dentist locates any difficult-to-find nerves so that anesthetic can be injected in the correct location.
- Pain reduction – In your relaxed state, you will be less sensitive to pain.
- Perspective – After a series of relaxing pain-free dental appointments, your perspective about dental visits will change. Many patients have found that after positive experiences with sedation, they actually look forward to dental visits.
Nitrous oxide – Nitrous oxide is also referred to as laughing gas. As you breathe it in throughout your appointment, you’ll have a sense of well-being and calmness. When your procedure is complete, the effects of nitrous oxide are quickly reversed as you breathe in pure oxygen.
Oral conscious sedation – This method uses mild commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication to help you relax. You will be given the medication to take in advance of your appointment so you can arrive at the office relaxed and ready for treatment.
The success of numbing your gums will greatly improve with sedation dentistry. And it will improve the way you feel about going to the dentist. Schedule a consultation with a sedation dentist to discuss your options.
This post is sponsored by Dr. Steven Brooksher of Dentistry by Brooksher in Baton Rouge.