To Numb or Not to Numb

A dentist in Asheville helps needle-phobic patients

Some of our dental patients are not only afraid of needles, they also have anxiety about the numbing caused by common local anesthesia. These fears are very real to those affected and can keep them from getting needed dental care. While psychological therapy can help alleviate the anxiety, that’s not a service that a dentist in Asheville can provide.

In response to these fears, we do our best to help. As a small practice, we take pride in getting to know our patients. We take the time to learn about what worries you, but you must tell us. If needles upset you, we have alternative methods to treat you. If the numbing sensation causes you anxiety, we can offer other solutions. Let us explain.

Needle Phobia and Solutions

As a dentist in Asheville who uses the latest techniques, we use a topical anesthetic to numb your gums temporarily. Because of this rub-on anesthetic, you won’t feel the needle stick at all. We understand, though, that some people still don’t want the shot because of a fear of needles.

Because of their fear, some patients prefer to skip the needle altogether. They’d rather feel the pain. This is obviously not an option for everyone.

While it’s true that we use an injected numbing agent as the most common local anesthetic, it is not our only option. Injected anesthetics do not work on a small percentage of the population anyway. Non-injected anesthetics have been developed recently. A special dispenser places a numbing gel into the pocket under the tooth directly. It is not a needle and does not break the skin.

Bypassing the Fear of Numbing

Like needle phobia, the fear of numbing can be acute. Most of us have experienced the discomfort of recovering from a visit to a dentist in Asheville — dribbling words and saliva for an hour or two. But we know that feeling will fade. Some people fear that that feeling will never end or that their mouth will swell up enough to suffocate them.

As an alternative to numbing agents, we sometimes rely on oral sedatives. Treatments such as nitrous oxide gas (commonly called laughing gas) relax you without knocking you unconscious. Your dentist in Asheville fits a small mask over your nose so you can breathe it in while he works on you. You may feel light-headed or experience some tingling in your extremities, but it is perfectly safe if administered properly.

Don’t Put Off Visiting a Dentist in Asheville

Dental health contributes to your overall health, so don’t avoid the dentist just because of your fears. We can work around your phobias to treat your teeth and gums. If you don’t want a shot with a needle, we have alternatives. If you prefer to avoid that numb feeling in your mouth, we can still find a way to treat you.

If you’re overdue for an appointment with your dentist in Asheville, contact us. We can allay your fears and get you the dental treatment you need. We care about you and your health, and we’ll work with you.

—The Zöe Dental Team