Sometimes we get asked why certain patients have more difficulty getting numb before a dental procedure than other people. At our dental office in St. Joseph, we wish we could provide one, solid answer as to why this happens. But the truth is, the reason can vary from person to person, and even from dentist to dentist.
While nobody likes to admit when they’ve made a mistake, the truth in everything is that mistakes do happen. Including during administration of a numbing agent. Most dentists have more than enough experience, training, and education to get it right most of the time. But if we miss, please know that we don’t like giving you additional injections any more than you like receiving them. We will always do everything possible to keep you relaxed, comfortable, and free of pain during each and every visit, even if we do need to give it another shot (pun intended).
Now that we’ve established that your St. Joseph dentist may accidentally miss the mark, we need to talk about why it’s so important for you to stay as still as possible during the injection. If you flinch or jump, there’s a chance the anesthetic won’t hit the right spot. We know it’s not what anyone really wants to do, but we promise to make it as quick and painless as possible.
Your body can also be the anti-numbing culprit in a variety of ways. First, some people react to the numbing agent differently, and their bodies remove it from the system too quickly. If this happens, you may not get numb at all or only numb for a small period of time. Another possible explanation could be your anatomy. While we know pretty much exactly where each nerve is supposed to be, sometimes we find a patient whose nerve positioning is shifted slightly. So when we think we’re hitting the spot right on, we’re actually not.
If you have a tooth that hurts a lot, your nerves don’t behave like they normally do. Sometimes known as a ‘hot tooth,’ an area that’s particularly painful could have nerves that are either overactive or have actually added on additional receptors. Whichever may be the case, both situations require more anesthetic and could make it more difficult to become numb.
We never want our patients to be uncomfortable while in our St. Joseph dental office. If you’ve had trouble getting numb in the past, please let us know. We’ll go out of our way to ensure you’re completely relaxed and pain free at all of your visits.