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Why Pain Is Out Of The Modern Dental Office

November 15, 2015 Andrew 0 Comments

Q: I have been going to the dentist since I was a child. I’m amazed at the changes in dentistry, the dental office and equipment over the last 50 years. What are the biggest changes in dentistry in your lifetime?


A: I have witnessed the high-technology changes in dentistry myself. I started going to the dentist as a child in the 1950s and I am still a dental patient. I think the emphasis on patient comfort and the prevention of dental diseases are the biggest advances.



Q: Will I feel any pain during my treatment?


A: You should never have to endure pain during your dental visit. The management of pain in dentistry encompasses a number of procedural issues relating to anesthetic delivery and the control of pain following dental procedures.


Historically, pain was associated with dental procedures such as anesthetic injection, restorative treatment, periodontal procedures and tooth extraction. Pain should be greatly reduced or eliminated with the use of local anesthetics and via clinician patience, gentle patient management and assurance. For patients fearful of dental procedures or even the actual visit, dental professionals can overcome many anxieties with simple communication.


Q: How do you use local anesthetic?


A: A topical anesthetic (numbing gel) is first applied before local anesthetic is gradually injected into the prepared area. Once the local anesthetic is given, your mouth will become numb as the medication blocks nerves which transmit pain signals.


Before starting treatment, the treated tissues are completely numb. In the unlikely event you should feel any discomfort, you just need to let the dentist know and they will administer more or a different local anesthetic.


Pain associated with the injection of anesthetic can be minimized by co-administration of other agents such as nitrous oxide, intravenous drugs, and by the pre-application of topical anesthetic and proper injection technique including slow delivery of the drug and the type of anesthetic selected.


Q: Will it hurt after the numbness wears off?


A: Post treatment personal care directions will show you how to minimize discomfort after dental care. These include the use of ingested pain medications, ice or heat, rinses and topical medications.


Pain or fear of pain should not be an issue for the modern dental patient. Next time I will deal with preventing oral diseases.


The question into the future is how technology will bring about better dentistry.

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