I had a cavity filled and my dentist tried to numb me with anesthetic. However, the shot hurt horribly. I’m sensitive to shots. The next time I needed numbing, I asked him to be gentle when giving it, but he ignored my request, and the shot hurt just as bad as before.
I have to get another filling but I am hesitant to go back to this dentist. It hurts too much. Can I do something before my appointment to make it hurt less? Or is there a way to get him to be more gentle this time around?
Connor, from Detroit, Michigan
When you asked your dentist the first time to be more gentle, he should have listened to you instead of ignoring you. Sometimes dentists get stuck in their ways. However, dentists need to maintain a good level of bedside manner in order to gain the patient’s trust, so he was in the wrong here.
One way to decrease the pain associated with the shot is to ask the dentist to use numbing gel. Leaving numbing gel on the gums first can help. Also, the dentist should administer the shot slowly instead of quickly. Doing it slowly allows the body to absorb the medicine better; doing it fast can cause bubbling at the injection site, or stretching of the skin.
If you are sensitive to shots, it may be because of the nerves in your jaw. Everyone’s bodies are different, and your dentist is administering the shoot where it is most likely to be effective. However, while this may cause no pain for most people, if your facial nerves are near the injection site, it will hurt you a lot more than it would otherwise. The dentist cannot control where your facial nerves are, so if this is the case, you may want to look for a gentle dentist or sedation dentist.
A cosmetic dentist who practices gentle or sedation dentistry will listen to your concerns. They will have a much more improved bedside manner than your current dentist. To have your sensitivities addressed, you may want to seek a different dentist.
This blog post is brought to you by Baton Rouge sedation dentist, Dr. Steven Brooksher, of Dentistry by Brooksher.