Q: I had an awful experience at my dentist’s office where she could not get my tooth completely numb. How can this be avoided?
A: Easy answer, but first a quick mother’s day story:
Visiting my son up a Tufts Dental School, Boston Mass, my wife and I saw two ducks in the Boston Commons trying to celebrate mother’s day with a “quickie” (or is it a quackie). The female pushed the male off of her by colliding her beak with the side of his head. They then faced each other and alternated quacking rants of anger. (I told my wife: “I think the female brought up something from the past.”)
Now back to the patient. Lower back molars can be challenging to get numb; especially in what we call a “hot tooth” situation where the nerve canal is extremely inflamed. Areas of dense bone with hyper inflamed and/or infected teeth change the Ph. of the fluids in the area, rendering the anesthetic as futile as a NY Jet’s quarterback.
Tooth Numbing Solutions
Solutions: Some hi-tech numbing devices and techniques have come down the pipeline in the last decade which WILL get you numb and with almost no pain from the needle:
- The Computer Controlled Syringe (CCS) or one called the “Wand”, electronic syringes
- The Vibraject needle vibrator
- The Dental Vibe bone vibrator
- Profound tm brand topical gel
- Using Septocaine vs. Novocain
- Pre-medication with Ativan pills
- Additional nerve injections in un-common places in the mouth that were not taught in dental school (at least back in the eighties when Miami Vice was still a “new” show.)
For more details on these seven must-haves for a dental office click on the technology button.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.