One of the main reasons that people feel the heebie-jeebies about going to the “big bad dentist” is because of dental injections. The simple thought of having someone stab your gums with a humongous needle is unnerving, to say the least.
Still, we can’t deny that this is the better alternative compared to either having your orthodontic procedures done without any anesthetic or not going to the dentist at all.
And, speaking of anesthetics, there are a lot of misconceptions about novocaine that has been passed around for as long as we’ve been around, and we here at Beautisdom have gone through the journey to dispel all of this, with one of them being the duration of its effect. So, read on and learn about how you can make novocaine wear off easily!
What you need to know about novocaine
A lot of people cringe at the thought of getting a shot of novocaine right in their gums, so rest assured that you’re not alone here.
Hey, even some of us here at Beautisdom find the word “novocaine” enough to give us sleepless nights. But, seriously, what is with novocaine that makes it the bogeyman of anesthetics?
Well, for one, it’s the way that your dentist administers it. Have you noticed that dental injections are given slower than, say, a flu injection on your arm or your butt? Well, there’s a reason for that, and we’ll tell you all about it later.
The truth is, novocaine has become a catch-all term these days that encompasses all kinds of anesthesia your dentist gives. In truth, novocaine hasn’t been around for a long time now, and we just call dental anesthesia by that name the same way we refer to jeans as Levi’s regardless of their brand.
Now, we’re going to tell you this right now, but know that we are not here to scare the socks off you: dental injections hurt. BAD. However, you should also know that this is all part of getting better. As the saying goes, “sometimes a little pain is needed to get better.”
Although unusual, this completely probable condition is very much real. However, thank to innovations in the medical world today, there are now a lot of anesthetics out there that won’t get you hooked.
That’s great, really, considering how just about a century ago people were more than likely to get their jollies on from the dentist due to the fact that cocaine was the only widely available anesthetic back then.
The fact of the matter is that novocaine was invented because of cocaine. You see, people were getting so high off their knockers back then that it was not uncommon to OD in the dentist’s chair.
Hence, novocaine was created as a safer alternative to smack (although we’re guessing dentist’s office had a lot more twitching, talkative patients back then because of all the nose candy). That was in the year 1905.
What we’re trying to say is simple: set aside those fears of being addicted to local anesthetics.
When Your Dentist Acts Unusual During Injections
We’re being serious here, so hear us out. You may notice that your dentist tends to go through a lot of unusual rituals before pricking you in the gums with that needle. However, there is some method to what appears as madness in this case.
For one, your dentist tries to make sure that everything regarding your teeth and gums are in proper order before giving you the shot, so you may notice them looking at your chompers more thoroughly than usual. After all, they are about to inject you with anesthetic, which is a very delicate procedure.
Aside from that, here are the other things you might notice before you go all numb from the injection:
- You will notice that your dentist slathers your gums with this cream or gel that simply tastes awful; that’s called a topical numbing gel, which they use in order to lessen the amount of pain you’ll feel in your gums when they stab it with a needle. Now, don’t get too hasty: you can’t use topical gels as your primary anesthetic, since these only numb the surface of your gums and are thus not enough to provide you with a degree of relief during the whole process. Remember, there are a lot of nerves inside your teeth and gums!
- As opposed to arm or buttock injections, dental injections take longer to administer. So, you must be wondering why that is. Well, the reason for that is because your dentist – believe it or not – is trying to cause as little pain as possible during the whole ordeal. A quick prick accompanied by an immediate spurting of anesthesia hurts a lot more than a slow gentle one that will gradually spread the anesthetic throughout your mouth.
- You may find it annoying that your dentist chats you up knowing that you can’t answer properly with all that anesthesia in your mouth, but don’t be too hard on them; they’re just trying to make you feel less anxious and divert your attention from the procedure.
- Other dentists squeeze or press your lips in the middle of your dental procedure, and that’s to divert what little sensation you have from your teeth and gums, which is painful.
- You’ll notice that there are dentists who hide their syringes behind, not letting you see what’s going on. Don’t act so paranoid; this is a way to not make you panic when they’re about to prick you with the needle.
So, how do you make novocaine wear off faster?
There are five ways you can go about this, so find out which one works for you best:
- Try to focus on moving your mouth after the procedure to make the anesthetic spread thinner more quickly, which could make it wear off faster.
- A gentle massage right on the numb areas of your mouth also help spread the anesthetic thinner, allowing it to dissipate more quickly.
- Try gargling with warm water mixed with salt after the procedure. This will not only disinfect your teeth and gums, but also give you a level of relief for when the anesthetic wears off.
- You can use an anti-anesthetic, but make sure you consult with your dentist before doing so.
So, there you have it: everything you need to know about novocaine. Don’t be scared of your dentist; they’re there to make you feel better!