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Fear of being numb



Junior member
Dec 17, 2017
I have looked around on this forum and couldn't find exactly what i was looking for so i apologize if this is being repeated. I have had plenty of dental work done but my biggest fear at the dentist is being numb. Im not scared of needles , its the numb feeling i hate. I now have to have work done on my bottom and im freaking out about feeling like im choking or my throat feeling numb and im so scared. Any advice besides sedation????? I cant go undet sedation right now. Thank you!
Hi there and welcome ?, we've collected some tips and information from forum posts over the years. You can find them on this page (if you haven't already seen it):

Hopefully there is some information there which might help, and perhaps someone with personal experience of this fear can chime in!
Oh yes! I also fear being numb. In fact, I'm numb right now after coming from the dentist (crown prep) and trying not to freak out too much. Here's my experience from today: some of the numbing medication did go to the back of my tongue while the needle was withdrawn, but I had a dental assistant suction it really good and that helped. And that numbness didn't last long at all. Half of my tongue is numb, but remember that the injection doesn't numb the back of the tongue, so you will be able to swallow just fine. And the medication does not impair your muscles at all. It just feels weird!

Others on this forum have told me that there is a "reversing" medication they can give you after your procedure to reverse the numbness. Call your dentist before any procedure and specifically ask for this to be available.

So, yes, dental numbness is a very real fear and many of us have it. I tell myself that the numbness is better than pain and that everything in my mouth still functions while numb. It really is "mind over matter." I'm getting a little better at it, but being numb will always be one of my fears.

Hang in there!
I had the same fears but I'm here to reassure you, I've had my bottom teeth numb many many times and I've never felt like choking/suffocating or anything like that. It isn't scary. You can feel your throat and swallow just fine. Also they usually only work on one side of your mouth at a time so only half of your tongue is numb not the whole thing. It doesn't feel suffocating or anything ?
It is not uncommon that patients strongly dislike the numbness.
There are injection techniques, especially the computerized injection devices that can anesthise only the teeth themselves without (or hardly) the tissues around them. In that sense they are very comfortable.
Hi, just came across this and wanted to share one thing that haven't been mentioned so far: while the anesthetic won't make you choke or make your throat feel numb (that's a fact), if you are very scared and overwhelmed and the treatment is happening at the same time, it is easy to start believing so.
My advice is to talk to your dentist and once the anesthetic is placed, allow them to give you a break, make you sit upright or even get up from the chair for a moment and check for yourself, that you really can breathe and swallow and are not chocking. It is helpful to focus in and see where the numbness is and where it isn't. Once you figured out that all is well, it will be easier to get the treatment.