When it’s time for dental work you shouldn’t be concerned about undo discomfort. There are a number of things dentists can do to make sure your shots are as painless as possible and you are numb the entire time of your procedure. Here’s just a few of the ways we go the extra mile for your comfort.
1. Topical Numbing Gel – If you’ve never had a dentist who used a topical numbing gel prior to giving you an injection you are going to be amazed at the difference it makes. Our current favorite is the Ultracare Oral Anesthetic Gel by Ultradent. By applying this gel to the injection site for a few minutes prior to injections the discomfort is greatly reduced.
2. The Buzzy Bee – This small bee shaped device is used to inhibit the brain’s perception of pain by using the competing stimulation of vibration.
Scientific Rational – The Gate Control Theory of pain was originally published 19 Nov 1965 in the journal Science by authors Robert Melzack and Patrick D. Wall. Their theory states that large nerve fibers (which carry stimulation other than pain) and small nerve fibers (which carry pain signals – nociceptors) compete for the same pathways to the brain. Vibration is a sensation carried by the large nerve fibers, therefore, by having vibration signals in the area of a dental injection the pain from the injection is perceived as less because fewer of the pain signals from the small nerve fibers reach the brain.
There is also research to suggest that the large nerve fiber signals travel faster than small nerve fibers, therefore letting the vibration signal beat the pain signal to the brain and diminish the perception of pain.
- Slow Injections – Dental injections are an instance where it is much better to take it slow.
Here’s an analogy to help illustrate. Imagine you had 12 bowling pins set up in a 4 foot by 4 foot box and needed to get 10 gallons of water into the box as well. If you gradually poured the water into the box all the pins would likely remain upright and little damage would be caused. If you just dump all 10 gallons in at once you’re likely to knock over pins and damage the set up.
The mouth is somewhat similar; all the cells and tissues are lined up and orderly. By injecting anesthetic slowly the fluid has a chance to gently dissipate and be absorbed by the surrounding area. A quick injection is like blasting a fire hose at the bowling pins, it creates high pressures under the surface and causes tissues and cells to be pushed around and damaged – which leads to more discomfort at the injection site.
These three examples are just a few of the ways Boise Dentists Dr. Harker and Dr. Crump are very, very, very careful to make sure their procedures are as comfortable as possible. Not only do they ensure you get sufficiently numb, they check with the you multiple times during the procedure to ensure you are comfortable from start to finish.
We invite you to contact our office today and schedule your appointment!