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Expecting pain. Am I anesthetic resistant or just a wimp?

C

chwdt

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
6
Location
USA
I posted a while back about a filling gone wrong where during the drilling, I was whimpering and sweating from the pain. Even when the dentist claimed I should be numb and the cavity 'wasn't even that deep', it still HURT. I know my jaw was numb, my lips were numb, and I didn't feel anything at the very start, yet as they got deeper into the tooth, it felt awful.

I am going to a new dentist in two days to fill the last cavity, which is *apparently* also small, but my trust is shattered. I believe the last dentist did not wait long for the anesthetic to set in before starting drilling and inevitably, it hurt, and I was basically told to suck it up as he kept going without pause. But what if even if I get this new dentist to wait 15 minutes or so, the pain is still there? I'm stuck in this awful cycle. I worry and worry about going to the dentist, I imagine the pain, I get in there, things seem fine at first, and then pain. And then the cycle starts all over again because I inevitably get another cavity and immediately associate drill = pain. Especially since all my issues happen in my molars, and those are the hardest to numb, apparently!!

I know anesthetic wears off quicker if you are tense/anxious, but that's the whole issue! I can't NOT be anxious, and I don't know if this dentist offers nitrous oxide or anything. People claim this new dentist is 'pain free', but my trust is gone in any dentist because every time, I feel my fears are just confirmed :( Am I just imagining this pain or something? It's so unpleasant, I find it hard to believe it's just 'vibrations' or pressure. I really wish dentists were a one-and-done thing where I would never have to go again after dealing with planned pain.

Sorry that this is a ramble. I'm just scared and dreading this all over again.
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
3,233
Hi chwdt,

it's not a surprise that your confidence is gone after this experience! There are several things that, in my opinion went wrong there:

1. You were not numb enough. It is your dentist's job to numb you up properly. Period. There are situations when people need more anesthetic and some people need more and your dentist's responsibility is to give you as much anesthetic as you need to get numbed up and to wait until it works before starting.

2. Your dentist kept on with the procedure instead of stopping and fixing the problem. It still could happen that you feel a bit, in which case your dentist should stop immediatelly, give you more anesthetic or wait a bit longer until it works and then going on. It is not ok just to go on despite you having pain.

3. Your feelings were disvalidated. There is no such thing as the dentist telling you whether you should be numb or not. They have no way to know. No patient ever makes up pain - what for? To get more injections? Just make no sense. I can't believe your dentist just ignored you and brushed this off.

So putting it together, I see how much you struggle now and worry this could repeat. The best idea would be to have a good chat with your new dentist and tell them about your experience and your fears. Together you can make a plan of how to go about this - such as getting more anesthetic straight away, wait longer or your dentist simply checking whether you are numb as they start, or all three. And of course a stop signal and making sure they will stop whenever you feel anything uncomfortable and not going on until you're completely pain-free.

Here is a link you may find useful too:

 
J

JaySee19

Member
Joined
Jun 17, 2020
Messages
88
Location
Germany
It‘s you that feels the pain and it’s then up to the dentist to stop it. He/she can’t know what you’re feeling. Fillings should not be painful. Also everyone is different and what works for some, doesn’t for others. I hate it when a dentist dismisses my pain (mind you, that hasn’t happened since childhood).
On another note I recently had 2 fillings without any numbing. I was super-scared when he suggested it. For the last 45 years I have always insisted on an injection because it hurt as a kid and the dentist didn’t stop and there’s no way I’m ever going through that again. My current dentist told me he would stop any time and numb me up if I needed it and since I trust him and must have been feeling brave I went for it. He was right, it didn’t hurt. And I know one of the fillings was not superficial because a chunk of tooth had broken off. So, HOW DID HE KNOW?

Hope things go well with your new dentist and you can start to build up some trust. They can do amazing things these days. You don’t have to be in pain.
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,596
I have trouble getting/staying numb. It is part of what caused my dental anxiety as I had to have teeth extracted as a child due to my baby teeth not coming out and overcrowding. I was never numb enough and not believed.
Now I am upfront with every dentist/oral surgeon/etc that I have difficulty getting or staying numb. So far I have been very lucky in that they have all been very gracious about stopping and giving more anesthetic when needed.
I had the exact same thing happen that you described a few years ago with a small filling. The dentist was perplexed that it still hurt when my lip and cheek were numb. She stopped and gave me another shot and waited a bit, then went back to it and it was fine.
 
C

chwdt

Junior member
Joined
Jul 9, 2020
Messages
6
Location
USA
Thank you everyone for your reassurances! I went today to meet the new dentist. Turns out they weren’t going to do the filling today, just a cleaning...did get bad news, though, 3 fillings total need to be done:cry: And a fitting for a night guard, which I’m apprehensive over thanks to my gag reflex....the staff were very welcoming, but I can’t say tears weren’t shed!! Now I have to go back in two weeks.I just have to hope they’ll be able to numb me right... in not just one, but three places. I’m ashamed of myself as I really thought I was taking better care of my teeth, but apparently not.
 
Dr. Daniel

Dr. Daniel

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Nov 2, 2010
Messages
1,970
Location
The Hague , Holland
Please allow me to share a video I made about how to prevent pain during drilling. Hope it helps.
 
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