My teeth are in need of a root canal due to nerve damage and nerve damage. My dentist injected me with Novocain, and it did not work. He injected me again and again, and I still could not get numb. Because of that, he sent me home with some painkillers. I cannot get a root canal done unless my teeth can be numbed. Would a numbing paste work? Is there something I can do? Or is there something wrong with me?
Luther, from Huntington, West Virginia
It is not a problem with you, with some modifications you can get your teeth to get numb. Your problem is likely related to dental anxiety. The higher your anxiety, the less likely you are to get numb, and the more numbing agent that is needed. If you can lower your anxiety, you will be able to get numb with Novocaine or a numbing paste.
One way to help your dental anxiety will be to go to a sedation dentist. A sedation dentist can write you a script for an anti-anxiety medication to take thirty minutes to an hour prior to your appointment. However, you will need a ride to and from the appointment if you take this medication.
If you do not want to take an anti-anxiety pill, you can find a dentist who uses nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide wears off quickly after the appointment, and has no ill side effects. It also is more effective at numbing and sedation than novocaine, and is a good alternative for those with dental anxiety who cannot be numbed any other way.
If your current dentist does not offer sedation dentistry, you can seek it elsewhere. If you continue to see your dentist, using techniques to control your anxiety will allow you to finally become numb enough to get your root canal.
This blog post is brought to you by Baton Rouge sedation dentist, Dr. Steven Brooksher, of Dentistry by Brooksher.