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How do you cope with anaesthetic at the dentists?

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
I always seem to need work on my teeth... The last time, they put local anaesthetic in, and it hadn't done much, which I discovered when they hit a nerve while drilling, so they gave me more. By the time I got in my car to go home though, the entire right side of my face was numb!

Same this time - she numbs me up, and after 5-10 minutes, I barely feel numb at all, so she gives me a good lot more, and it finally begins to work. It was fine this time - no pain though.

So by the time I leave again, my face feels numb from my eye down to my neck I don't think I can safely eat for a little while still

What about you? Do you numb up easily? Do you need LOTS of local anaesthetic? Does yours take forever to take effect?
post #2 of 28
I numb up easy, but I'm always under gas when I've got big doings done (else I WILL punch the doctor).

But when I leave I'm always numb, it doesn't matter how much they gave me.

That sounds pretty typical.

My dad, on the other hand, gets violently ill if they try to use gas on him and doesn't tolerate novacaine well either.
post #3 of 28
OK so I'm the odd person but say for instance I need a filling whether new or replacement I have the dentist do the work without any novacaine or other "pain" deading products.
I grew up having a dentist never use any and buy the time they freeze the area, do they work and having numb mouth/tooth etc.... naahhhh just do the work and get over quicker!!

Neil's lower mouth is still numb from the implant surgery done in March-another good reason to me for not using anything!!

Mind over matter!!!
post #4 of 28
They usually have to give me extra freezing for some reason. He freezes it, waits about 10 minutes to see how effective it is and then gives me some more freezing. He does it that way so I don't end up with a frozen face and tongue. Not sure how he manages it, but when my dentist gives me freezing my tongue is not frozen at all and only the area immediately before and after the tooth being worked on is frozen.

The last tooth he fixed which he thought had a crack in it didn't freeze fully even with the extra freezing. Part way through the drilling I started to feel him drilling. I let out and "OWW!" and he was going to stop and give me more freezing, but I told him to just keep going. The last minute or two of drilling was mildly uncomfortable.
post #5 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Forensic View Post
I numb up easy, but I'm always under gas when I've got big doings done (else I WILL punch the doctor).
So far as I know the dentists here don't give "gas", just local freezing.

I remember as a kid having a couple of teeth pulled and they used gas to put me to sleep back then, but I've been to several dentists since then and not one of them has ever offered the option of "gas". So I think that might be a US thing.
post #6 of 28
I've always numbed easily and it doesn't take long either. There was only one time when I had to have a cavity fixed on one of my upper right molars. The dentist numbed me but it didn't feel that numb. I didn't feel the drill or anything though.
post #7 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by GailC View Post
OK so I'm the odd person but say for instance I need a filling whether new or replacement I have the dentist do the work without any novacaine or other "pain" deading products.
No you aren't odd

I've had several fillings, my root canal and a crown all done without freezing. The drilling only feels like a sensitive tooth and once the drilling stops so does the pain.. instantly.

Of course it all depends on the size of the filling needed and the length of time needed to drill. I always ask about how long drilling will take. If it's under 2 minutes I just forego the freezing. My current dentist looked at me like I was from Mars when I said that the first time, LOL

I do know that drilling an unfrozen tooth hurts a whole lot less than when freezing is coming out.
post #8 of 28
yeah i do! i had my last tooth surgery 6-8 months ago. the last thing i said was : "it feels fuzzy". although of course that was my first time having a tooth surgery since i was 2 and i'm 14 now. i don't even remember that long!
post #9 of 28
I seem to drug easily in general. I usually have to breathe half through my mouth if they put me in nitros and when they sedated me for my surgery I was out in under 5 minutes. She dosed my IV and with in seconds I could feel the drugs taking over and I was out before I hit the OR. Just yesterday I took a vicodine (left over from my surgery) because I was having some pretty severe cramps... I'm glad I didn't have a car because I should not have been driving... in fact, I barely left the couch.
post #10 of 28
I`m ok with it apart from the lower right side. I`m not sure but it could be because I had surgery on that side to remove some bone and I was numb there for 6 months after. It still feels a but funny but I`m used to it. Anyway, one dentist insisted my filling needed replacing that side and after 2 injections I could still feel him drilling away but he was getting all impatient so he carried on anyway
post #11 of 28
I haven't had it done for a few years, but last time I got a cavity filled, they gave a shot to numb my mouth, and when I was driving home, I couldn't feel anything from the bottom of my nose and down, and I kept thinking my mouth was hanging open, so I kept feeling around on my face the whole drive home to be sure it wasn't.

It hasn't ever really bothered me, besides making me look kind of funny when I can't tell if my mouth is open or not.
post #12 of 28
Never had it done for my teeth but i really liked the anasthetic they put in your arm.. tastes gassy and knocks you out in seconds!
post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
So far as I know the dentists here don't give "gas", just local freezing.

I remember as a kid having a couple of teeth pulled and they used gas to put me to sleep back then, but I've been to several dentists since then and not one of them has ever offered the option of "gas". So I think that might be a US thing.
Ah, and here I'd always wanted to move to Canada.

Well, if I do, I hope your dentists are tough (I hate people in my personal space!)
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
So far as I know the dentists here don't give "gas", just local freezing.

I remember as a kid having a couple of teeth pulled and they used gas to put me to sleep back then, but I've been to several dentists since then and not one of them has ever offered the option of "gas". So I think that might be a US thing.
They have gas at the dentist I go to here. I had it when I got my wisdom teeth out. My dad always had to have the gas because he couldn't stand going to the dentist.

I numb really easily but it wears off fast. They usually have to numb me once or twice more before they are done. My dentist puts it in the roof of your mouth too (which hurts really bad) but it makes it so you can't feel anything at all.
post #15 of 28
I was at the dentist about 2 months ago and they gave me novacaine and started drilling and i could totally feel it! I'm a big baby when it comes to pain too, so they shot me up again- no more feeling, but my face was numb for 5 hours and my mouth was droopy kinda like I'd had stroke I was really hungry by the time I could eat again
post #16 of 28
The last time I had to have it, he gave me 5 shots before I could no longer feel him drilling. When he was done, my vision was crossed eyed and I couldnt see, so I had to get someone to come pick me up, but that was gone the next day. It was weird because I had never had the problem of not getting numb before, ever.
post #17 of 28
My dentist doesn't drill cavities, he has a preasure washer like little thing and just blasts the soft bits away before filling.
No anaesthetic needed

When I do need it, he uses a very good topical and a tiny bit of novacaine.
The topical does most of the work, the shot just keeps it dulled longer.
post #18 of 28
I have the same problem as you do. Until the dentist knew me well enough, it would take 4 or 5 shots to deaden me enough to work on my teeth, then half of my face would go numb. Recent research has identified that many redheads have this problem, then I've heard more recently it is in general, fair skinned people of northern European descent. We are highly tolerant to pain meds and anesthesia.
post #19 of 28
I've never had teeth drilled but I did have 5 teeth pulled in one session (yeah, that was fun ) and he only did 3 local shots, which hurt the worse, then when my gums were numb he gave a shot of novacain on each side. I was numb in a few minutes. I wish they would have knocked me out with gas though because even though I couldn't feel it, the sounds were terrible (all were molars).

Basically, I was a drooling fool for about 4 hours!
post #20 of 28
I usually freeze easily, but it takes for ever for the freezing to come out. The only time freezing didn't work. is when I had a root canal done. That hurt
post #21 of 28
I typically feel every little thing and my mouth is super sensitive, so they always give me gas in addition to the injections and they normally use a lot on me so i don't feel anything. My dentist is really nice though- i recently had to have a lot of dental work done, including a root canal- so i've probably been to the dentist and endodonist more times in the past few months than anyone would ever want to! They always try to make it as painless and calm as possible (going to the dentist freaks me out!) I normally bring my ipod with me and listen to it to distract me if they have to do any kind of work. It helps a lot!

As far as the anesthetic wearing off- it normally wears off within a few hours, so it's not a big deal for me
post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
Recent research has identified that many redheads have this problem, then I've heard more recently it is in general, fair skinned people of northern European descent. We are highly tolerant to pain meds and anesthesia.
I linked to an article in a past migraine thread about this. Some people are tolerant to painkillers, beta blockers, and even anti depressants. If I recall correctly, it may have had to do with a particular liver enzyme?
I'm somewhat tolerant to painkillers. Lortab and darvocet do nothing for me, and sometimes even the tramadol doesn't...I'm sure I'll eventually find out what betas blocker do. I can also easily become tolerant to medication. I do have some North European decent - Danish to be exact.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahp View Post
So by the time I leave again, my face feels numb from my eye down to my neck I don't think I can safely eat for a little while still
How many shots did the dentist use in total? It sounds like too much was used and too many nerves were numbed.


My first dental visit the dentist used 4 shots of local and used lidocaine with epi. I didn't know that was going to cause a problem then and had a bad reaction (sensitive type reaction, not allergic).
Next time the dentist was supposed to use carbocaine, but I'm not sure he did due to how long the local lasted. He used 5 shots for a front tooth. Again I felt horrible with tachycardia and pre-syncope symptoms.
The most recent dentist was better and more careful. He called my cardiologist, listened when I told him I was sensitive to epi and the local itself (locals and even narcotic painkillers cause vasodilation - something I do not need), he leaned the chair back flat, and did give me gas - though I don't think it did anything as I didn't feel different from it.
One shot of local in the front above the tooth and one behind just to numb the branch of the intra-orbital nerve (I think that's the correct name?) that goes to that tooth. (That innervates your front teeth, the side of your nose, and part of under your eye)
I had a little pain in the left front tooth, where I shouldn't have felt any - it was the front right being worked on. So maybe my nerves are a little odd. Having an official diagnosis to make the dentist actually listen and be more cautious helped, too.
post #23 of 28
The first time I had the novocaine, I was laughing at myself because of how numb the side of my face was. They needed to give me more than the initial dose though, because I sure could feel them drilling still after the first injection!
post #24 of 28
Thread Starter 
Reading all these stories, you can understand why people hate getting "just a filling"!
post #25 of 28
I need double or triple the usual amt to get numb.
It might have something to do with red hair - redheads are notoriously for requiring 20%+ more anestetia than other ppl. My eye surgen thinks this too (and done four surgeries on me now so he would know)

Also - if you are nervous - whether consciously or not - the numbing won't "take" as easily or at all. I have this problem too so I get a valium before a dentist visit. Now I get numb better and don't have that surprise jump anymore when they hit a spot not really numbed yet.

All dentists can write prescriptions. I highly suggest ppl look into this if they have "issues".
post #26 of 28
I've only ever gotten "frozen" if it was a large filling (even as a kid I never had freezing for small fillings). But then again, I've been known to nod off while the dentist was working on my filling so I'm pretty relaxed anyway. We had one wonderful dentist that used gas but our newest guy doesn't use gas. I much preferred the gas to the freezing.
post #27 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Natalie_ca View Post
So far as I know the dentists here don't give "gas", just local freezing.........So I think that might be a US thing.
Gas is an option at many dentists around the Toronto area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I have the same problem as you do. Until the dentist knew me well enough, it would take 4 or 5 shots to deaden me enough to work on my teeth, then half of my face would go numb.
I'm exactly the same! When I was having my wisdom teeth out, they asked me to start counting backwards....10....9....8 etc. I was at -10 when I suggested they give me more. At the local dentist, they have to give me the anesthetic a good 20 minutes before she starts drilling because it takes awhile to get into my system.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Momofmany
.....then I've heard more recently it is in general, fair skinned people of northern European descent. We are highly tolerant to pain meds and anesthesia.
That's so interesting! Considering I'm half Finnish, that could explain it!
post #28 of 28
I never paid attention to how much Novocain they gave me-I was too busy white knuckling the chair with my eyes closed as soon as they brought out the needle. I'm one of those people who avoid the dentist for so long they have to numb me up just to clean my teeth. I hate it, absolutely hate it.
The strange thing about Novocaine is that it makes my face itch like crazy & try as I might, I can't scratch it because my face is numb. It bothers me so much I've even tried slapping myself in the face to make it stop.
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