I need some advice. I allowed a dental infection to spread to two teeth because I’m not always comfortable in the dental chair. I needed to get it dealt with and scheduled an “emergency appointment” with my dentist. Once he heard what was going on, he wanted me to come in right away and fit me in that day. I will admit his concern raised my trepidation. When I got into the dental chair he did no less than eight shots to try and get me numb. It didn’t work. Every time he tried to work on me, I went through the roof. It was agony. My dentist compassionately stopped the procedure. He refunded my money and said he’d do some research and get back with me as quickly as possible. He doesn’t want me to go too long because he is worried about the infection spreading even further. For my part, I am terrified of going back. Have you had this happen to a patient? Were you able to find a solution?
I am sorry for this experience, which likely did little to calm your uncomfortableness in the dental chair. Fortunately, I understand the cause of this issue and have a solution.
Many dentists do not realize the effect that anxiety has on a patient’s ability (or inability) to get numb. When you are nervous, it kicks up your body’s defense mechanisms. This, in turn, has the effect of burning off the numbing medication. The more anxious you are, the quicker it burns off.
The solution to this is to find something that will relax you. Now, don’t laugh. I have just the thing. For this procedure, which I do agree with your dentist is a dental emergency, you need to see a dentist who offers dental sedation options.
With mild anxiety, nitrous oxide is usually enough. However, you are not dealing with mild anxiety. I would suggest you use oral conscious sedation. You will be relieved to know this is administered with a simple pill. However, don’t let that ease cause you to underestimate its punch. This is so strong you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment, as well as stay with you after the appointment until you are lucid again.
It will relax you so much that you will be able to sleep through your appointment if you’d like.
I hope this gives you confidence to move forward without fear. You don’t want this infection to spread any further than it already has.
This blog is brought to you by West Seneca Dentist Dr. Warren Krutchick.