Public Service Announcement

If you have dental anxiety (perhaps because a series of dentists gave you ever worsening nerve damage, but also if because reasons), you can ask for both acute anxiolytics to take during the cleaning and local anesthetic so it doesn’t hurt so much.  This is not wussing out.  It is making it easy for you to receive highly necessary medical care. Dental cleanings are one of the most important preventative measures you can take for your health, do what you need to to get them.

3 thoughts on “Public Service Announcement”

  1. Anyone have any experience *declining* anesthetics? My last few dental appointments the local shots had increasingly little effect- I ended up lying to the doc just so he’d stop trying to up the dose and just do the work (I figured I’d rather 5 minutes of intense dental pain than another 30 minutes of repeated painful injections and being bored in a dental chair). I tried (a little half-heartedly) to convince him that it was fine to proceed despite not being very numb, but he was pretty insistent on getting the anesthesia to work.

    1. This doesn’t solve your problem, but a potential hypothesis for what’s going on: dentists distribute novocain based on the standard distribution of nerves. if your nerves are in different places or you have extra branches, the standard distribution won’t work.

    2. Maybe try switching dentists (and asking new dentists whether they are willing to do fillings without anesthetics while scheduling your first appointment)? I’ve never had to try convincing a dentist to do this, but I did have a few fillings done without anesthetic when I was a kid (~2005 or so), so I know it was possible at one point. Also, I have had fillings done more recently with ineffective anesthetic without getting more shots; I managed this by seeming uncomfortable about dental work (which I was) and then omitting to mention that I was actually in pain (probably easier to pull off if they are expecting you to be uncomfortable). If you can find a dentist willing to go the first route with you, that is obviously better, but the second thing may also be an option which doesn’t require actively lying, depending on how you feel about lies of omission. Not sure how helpful this is, but I hope you figure something out that works for you.

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