If you’re anything like me, dental injections look more like horse tranquillisers than ‘local anaesthetics’. However when you really think of it we should be grateful for these injections. Think of Tom Hank’s character in the movie Cast Away. He had severe tooth pain when he was stuck on that Island and no dentist near by. He took out his tooth without an anaesthetic and was knocked out for hours from the pain itself. I remember telling myself never ever will I fear the injection. So let's take a closer look at the thing we fear the most in the dentist chair.
The biggest question that we ask … Does it hurt? When you compare it to the pain you’ll feel without it, its very minor. Most people don’t feel any pain other than a little sting which isn’t a result of the needle itself but more of the solution working itself into the area .Your dentists primary focus is to make sure you as a patient feel very minimal discomfort during the procedure.
Your dentist starts off by drying the area of your mouth with air or cotton and then applies a topical anaesthetic (numbing gel) onto the gum prior to any work done to decrease the pain. When your dentist inserts the needle, they insert the anaesthetic slowly and in small steps. They add extra drops of anaesthetic in front of the direction the injection is going to take and continue injecting into the tissue that is already numb which decreases your chance of feeling the pain. This means the slower the injection rate of the solution, the less pain.
There are two different types of anaesthetic injections. The first one is a block injection which usually numbs the whole area of the mouth and is usually inserted into the lower teeth. The other injection is an infiltration injection which numbs a smaller area and is usually used on the upper teeth. The anaesthetic takes 3 to 5 minutes to be in full effect and lasts up to several hours after you’ve left the dentist.
Side effects are rare as this is the most common drug used in the dental industry. Whilst it is rare to have an allergic reaction to the local anaesthetic, always remember to tell your Dentist of any medications you are currently on or any allergies you have or have had in the past. It’s all about trusting your dentist and having an honest connection with them. Visit your local dentist in Melbourne CBD and eliminate that fear of local anaesthetic injections ASAP!