I have been on prescription painkillers for two weeks. My dentist tried countless times to get me numb with no success. He refunded my money and gave me these prescriptions for the pain I’m in and he’s trying to research why I can’t get numb, but I am in absolute agony, so I’ve decided to try to help with the research here. Have you heard of this happening before?
I think I can help both you and your dentist here. There is a phenomenon that only a handful of dentists are aware of. In fact, I only know one journal article that has been written about this, though I have seen it in a few blog posts so more dentists are figuring it out.
When a patient has dental anxiety, it has this strange effect of burning off the numbing medication. The higher the anxiety, the less effective the numbing medication. So, let’s say that you were a little nervous going into the office, which is perfectly normal, but your dentist doesn’t realize the effect that will have on your numbing medication, so it doesn’t work. Then, your anxiety goes up, burning off the medication even faster. It is a vicious cycle. The good news is there is a solution.
The key is to lower your anxiety enough that the numbing medication will be effective. The good news is you don’t have to be the one to get your anxiety down. If you see a dentist who offers dental sedation options it will solve your problem.
There are generally two levels of sedation available with most sedation dentists, though some offer a third. The lightest is nitrous oxide. In some cases, this is enough to relax you and enable the medication to do its job. However, based on what you have experienced, I am going to suggest you find a dentist who offers a level up. I think you will need oral conscious sedation.
It is administered with a simple pill but it is powerful. You will not be able to drive yourself to or from your dental appointment. You will be way too relaxed to be behind a wheel. In fact, you will need someone to stay with you for a few hours after your appointment. The good news is you will be so relaxed you will be able to sleep through your appointment if you want to.
You can get off those pain meds and get those teeth taken care of without stress.
This blog is brought to you by La Jolla Dentist Dr. Stephen Doan.