Afraid Of That "Big Pinch" At The Start Of The Dental Visit? Learn How Your Trip To The Dentist Can Be Truly Painless

For some people, the most painful part of the trip to the dentist comes when the dentist says, "I'm going to numb you up now. You'll feel a big pinch." Everything after that point may genuinely be painless, but that injection of the numbing agent can be genuinely memorable in a very bad way. There are plenty of dentists that are using new technology that makes dentistry painless right from the start. Here are some of the options you can ask your dentist about.

1.) Topical anesthesia applications prior to numbing shots.

Some topical anesthesias won't work for the heavy-duty dental work but they can be used to numb your mouth prior to the injection of the more serious numbing agents. While Novocain used to be the most commonly used numbing injections, Lidocaine has taken its place because it generally works longer and better. However, ask your dentist if he or she uses a local numbing agent that is topically applied before giving you the shot. That can prevent you from ever feeling that painful pinch.

2.) Topical anesthesia in place of shots for minor work.

Numbing shots have their own set of problems, aside from the pain. They can accidentally spread the numbing agent too far, which can cause you to end up biting your cheek, lip, or tongue. The needle can also hit a nerve, causing pain that lasts for weeks until it heals. Because of this, some dentists have moved away from shots for minor procedures and are using more powerful topical anesthetics for minor work. That way, the dentist can control exactly where the numbing medication goes and do the work quickly and easily.

3.) Devices that close the neural "pain gate."

Some dentists are also adopting other methods of helping control the pain from injections. These devices lightly vibrate the gum tissue around the tooth that the dentist needs to work on at the same time that you receive the injection. The vibration interrupts the signals to the brain from the actual injection, keeping your neural sensors from realizing that you're simultaneously being given a shot of the numbing agent.

4.) Multiple mini-injections into the palate.

Palatal injections are sometimes necessary for intensive dental work—but they still don't need to be painful. If your dentist focuses on using a painless injection that takes place over several minutes, starting with a topical anesthesia and gradually working inward with micro-injections at a rate of 1–2mm at a time, you won't feel any pain from the process.

If that "big pinch" at the start of every dental visit is one of the things that keeps you away from the dental chair, ask a dentist like Larchmont Dental Arts LLC how much anesthesia he or she thinks will be necessary for your procedure and to discuss pain control techniques before you start.