There have been hysterical segments in movies and comedy shows and even Broadway plays that reference the humor in having a mouth that is numb after going to the dentist. The segment that the late great Dudley Moore did in the movie 10 has always been one of my favorite sequences. Dentists have notoriously been known to be the purveyor of pain and discomfort when in reality, with today’s cutting edge technology, pain experienced secondary to a dental visit couldn’t be further from the truth. Dentists primary concern is your oral health but, in helping you to achieve optimal oral health, we are focused on keeping you comfortable and pain free. Creating a calm environment in the dental office is so helpful in allowing the patient to feel safe and relaxed. And knowing that dentists have ways to keep you pain free really makes the dental visit not nearly so awful as comedians would want you to believe.
Here are some mind-numbing reasons that having the dentist use local anesthetics (Novacaine) is a good thing:
1.) A numb patient is typically a calm patient. If you talk with your dentist about your anesthetic options and allow her/him to use a local anesthetic (like a Novacaine) to numb your mouth, you are going to be more relaxed and that in turn allows your dentist to work more quickly and more efficiently.
2.)Some dentists offer light sedation as an option for patients who have extreme dental phobias. Typically, even with light sedation, the dentist will still use a local anesthetic (like a Novacaine) to get the area to be worked on comfortably numb. If you are going to have light sedation, always remember to have a person available to drive you home after your appointment.
3.) While it is true that your dentist will advise the patient not to eat or drink hot liquids until after the numbness wears off, it is a bit of an exaggeration (but makes for hilarious comedy segments) that you will not be able to talk when you are numb. In most cases, you will be able to talk just fine after local anesthetic (like Novacaine)
4.) Depending on the procedure that was done by the dentist, there are many different types of local anesthetic that last for varying amounts of time. Make sure you talk with your dentist about the length of time that the anesthetic used on you will last.
5.) For those people that are afraid of the “shot”, the new topical gels that are applied to the gum in the area to be injected are extremely effective in “pre-numbing” the gum so that the “shot” is almost not even felt!
Remember to always talk to your dentist about your concerns and questions…that is what we are there for. If you have questions about getting numb at your dental visit, please feel free to comment below (I love starting a conversation here) or email me or call our office. Dr. Carolyn Demas and Dr. Matt Demas are available to answer your questions.
And remember, as always….we LOVE making you smile!