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Feeling fleeting moments of a chilling, gnawing sensation during drilling



Junior member
Jul 7, 2019
United States
I have seen people describe drilling pain as "sharp," but I don't consider this to be, "sharp." "Sharp" to me refers to what you would feel from a needle or being stabbed by a knife. This is best described as a "chill"...chilling bone pain or something.

I have felt this during every filling procedure I have ever had. 4 different teeth, 3 different appointments, and 2 different dentists, and it was the same experience every time. They're all lower molars.

I never raised my hand because I was never sure what exactly I was supposed to feel and not feel during the procedures. Yeah, I know, "you should only feel pressure"...but I mean, I can still slightly feel the shot for the numbing injection, even when it's done well. I get sort of a dulled version of the sting.

So I don't know if it's just that none of my teeth actually went numb, or didn't go completely numb, or if it's all in my head. I also only felt it with the high speed drill. The low speed drill didn't cause me any problems.

Could it be psychological? Could it be a referred chill from another area that wasn't numbed when it somehow comes in contact with cold water or air or something?

Or is the chill I feel what you are expected to feel if the local anesthesia isn't working properly? Am I feeling the cold water in that tooth?

Either way, I just do not believe it is possible for me to have a comfortable drilling procedure. When I had my last filling done, everything around the tooth got numb, and stayed that way for 8+ hours. I had the procedure in the morning and it took until late evening to wear off...so it's not a matter of metabolizing it too quickly.

And now that I read about the possibility of the needle actually hitting the nerve and giving you an electric shock, I can't even imagine tolerating the injection again. The internet was my worst enemy when it came to dental work.
The lower molars can be tricky to get 100% numb. I suspect this is what is happening. Let the dentist know as he may well be able to give you supplemental injections that make things much more comfortable for you.
As regards the electric shock business, explain to you dentist how worried you are about this and he will go extra slow to ensure that if this rare situation occurs, you will only feel it a tiny bit.


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