I have found that numbing drugs do not work on me, like they typically would on patients. After several horrific experiences, it has been determined that I am extremely sensitive to the numbing drugs that dentists use and have learned that the only way for me to handle a dental procedure is to be unconscious. Do you have experience with patients like me?

Sincerely,
Richard


Richard,

There are many patients who have similar experiences with numbing drugs. For some, nitrous oxide will calm them enough for a drug like novocaine to work. However, others need to be completely sedated to become numb. If we are stressed or anxious enough, there is something in our body chemistry that prevents novocaine from working completely, or causes it to quickly wear off. It is typical for a patient to be hesitant to admit they have experienced something traumatic with a dental procedure. When this is the case, they would be given an injection of novocaine to numb the injection spot, allowing the dentist to know they are ready to proceed with the work. However, they begin to feel pain once the procedure has begun. This leads to nitrous oxide gas. However, if the dentist doesn’t wait long enough after administering the gas, the patient will still fill the pain. If a dentist waits until the patient is in a very relaxed state, then administers the novocaine again, they are typically fine. Sometimes, patients will need a stronger sedation and then for the novocaine to be administered again after they are fully sedated. This typically happens to patients who have had traumatic dental experiences.

It would be a good idea for you to look for a sedation dentist, or one with sleep dentistry experience. Conscious sedation is a more affordable dentistry option than general anesthesia. It is also safer and easier to administer. In fact, most patients are unable to recall the appointment. However, if this option doesn’t work for you, you may need to go the general anesthesia route.

This article was brought to you by Gilbert sedation dentist, Dr. Matt Roper.