Having Trouble Getting Numb at the Dentist's?
Here are Four Potential Reasons Why

Having Trouble Getting Numb

Have you ever had trouble getting numb for your dental treatment? Maybe it took longer than usual, or required a couple extra attempts from the dentist. Don’t worry, it happens! While a resistance to the numbing effects of a local anesthetic is relatively rare, sometimes, patients can be quite numb to getting numb. The good news is, even in these rare conditions, the dentist will do everything he or she can to ensure you achieve the pain-free treatment that you deserve.

So, why does local anesthetic work differently for some patients? We’ve got several reasons.

  1. Anatomic Differences or Conditions
    Everyone is wired differently! Variations in anatomy can sometimes make it more challenging to administer the anesthetic in the correct spot. In addition to this, patients with Joint Hypermobility Syndrome (JHS), or Ehlers-Danlos Hypermobility Type can be more resistant to the numbing effects of a local anesthetic.
  2. Technical Errors
    Although these issues don’t typically happen often, technical difficulties can occur. Fortunately, these technical errors can be resolved with a little patience. Some errors include:

    • The needle may be put in the wrong place
    • The local anesthetic is administered too quickly
    • Not enough local anesthetic is given
    • The anesthetic may have not been given enough time to kick in

    An experienced dental anesthesia specialist like Dr. Samuel Toong will know how to properly provide the local anesthetic.
  3. Infection or Inflammation
    It can sometimes be more difficult to get a patient numb if they have infection or swelling in an area. This might be due to acidity in the tissue, or the greater level of sensitivity the patient may be experiencing.
  4. Dental Anxiety or Phobia
    The hormones associated with anxiety or fear can sometimes reduce the effectiveness of a local – but only in a very small percentage of anxious patients. In this case, a patient will simply require more anesthetic to get numb.

    If you happen to require a local anesthetic the next time you’re in for a dental treatment, fear not! Most patients can get numb without any problems. And while it may take a little more time for certain patients to get numb, patience is all you need.

Sleep Dentistry is On Your Side

If you suffer from more intense feelings of fear and anxiety when it comes to your dental treatment, other forms of anesthesia can be administered to provide you with the most comfortable experience possible. Talk to Dr. Toong, our compassionate Burlington dentist and dental anesthesia specialist today about your options.