Do you get anxious at the thought of visiting the dentist? You're not alone! Dental anxiety affects millions of people worldwide, causing them to avoid essential dental treatments. However, skipping these appointments can lead to more severe dental problems down the line. The good news is that there are several treatment options available for overcoming…
Getting Numbing Shots Before Dental Procedures
Types of dental anesthesiaWhen a dentist prescribes a treatment that requires more invasive procedures, a numbing agent may be needed to ensure thorough completion with minimal pain and discomfort. Depending on the type of procedure and patient needs, either general or local anesthesia may be used.
General anesthesiaWhile heavy sedation is typically reserved for surgeries, some offices may utilize general anesthesia during intense procedures for patients with severe dental anxiety. Medications may be administered intravenously or with a mask.
Local anesthesiaIn most situations, a dentist will only numb the affected and adjacent areas to manage pain. Sometimes, a topical numbing gel is all that is needed to ease discomfort. More frequently, a dentist will inject a numbing agent to block the pain receptors in the affected nerves. There are several medications that accomplish this task:
- Prilocaine (Citanest®)
- Lidocaine (Xylocaine®)
- Articaine (Septocaine®)
- Mepivacaine (Carbocaine®)
- Bupivicaine (Marcaine®)
What to expect with numbing shotsIt is helpful to talk with a dental professional and ask questions about the pending treatment, such as the anticipated length of the procedure and number of injections required. Patients should discuss the appropriate preparations before the day of the appointment to maintain safety and minimize anxiety.
Initial injectionsWhile there is some initial discomfort associated with dental injections, the pain is usually minimal, especially at the hands of a gentle and experienced professional. Typically, a topical numbing gel is applied to reduce sensitivity at the injection site. Depending on the type of treatment, one or several injections may be needed. After five to 10 minutes, the numbing agent will take full effect and the dental procedures can begin.
Treatment after anesthesiaDuring treatment, patients may feel pressure but should not experience pain. However, individuals process anesthesia at different rates, so it is important to notify the dentist if the numbness begins to wear off. In these situations, additional injections may be required, especially during lengthy dental procedures. Fortunately, most patients do not feel these additional injections, as some of the anesthesia is still effective.
Follow-up careOnce the procedure is complete, some numbness may linger for a few hours. Depending on the targeted area, it may be difficult to control the lips and tongue. The loss of feeling should subside quickly, but most dentists recommend waiting to eat until the numbness disappears completely. Otherwise, it is possible to unknowingly injure the soft tissues of the mouth while eating. Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Procedures in Boca Raton, FL.
ConclusionNumbing shots are an effective form of local anesthesia for many dental procedures. It is important to discuss expectations with a dentist to prepare for upcoming injections. With proper administration, injections can help block pain during treatment. Request an appointment or call Regency Court Dentistry at (561) 926-9310 for an appointment in our Boca Raton office.
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