I had a tooth which was only partially dead but needed to be extracted. My dentist tried several times to get me numb and just couldn’t. The appointment was excruciating. He apologized and decided he’d reschedule me and we’d try again. He didn’t charge me for the first appointment. I’m a bit nervous about going back after the first experience. Have you seen this before? Is there a solution?
I have good news and better news. Yes, I have seen this. Even better, I know the solution. Many dentists do not realize that anxiety actually speeds up your metabolism briefly. That results in you burning off the anesthetic much sooner than you otherwise would be capable of doing under normal circumstances. This is why your dentist couldn’t get you numb. He’d inject the medication, your anxiety took off, which in turn burned off the anesthetic. Each time it didn’t work your anxiety went up making it burn off even faster. At that point, there would be no way for your dentist to get you numb. I am glad he showed enough compassion to stop, as I’m sure you are as well. Some dentists would have callously just pushed through, which is one of the reasons so many people have dental anxiety to begin with.
The Solution to Dental Anxiety
Because your dentist wanted to do research on this, I don’t think he will be offended by you showing him this blog post. The best solution for patients with anxiety is dental sedation. In some cases, just using nitrous oxide is enough to relax some people. Others, however, have such severe anxiety that nitrous isn’t enough.
In those cases, you need oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill. It is STRONG. It will be necessary for someone to drive them to and from your appointment. You will be in no condition to drive. Additionally, they’ll need to stay with you for a few hours after your appointment until you are lucid again and steady on your feet.