You may be opting for some cosmetic dentistry procedures at your dentist, but even though this is voluntary it doesn't alter the fact that you are very apprehensive of that needle. This is a common fear, but is it unfounded? What is the real reason behind the discomfort and how might new developments help to eliminate the pain?
Get to the "Root" of the Problem
While it is true to say that most dentists today can administer the local anaesthetic without it causing too much distress for the patient, it's the initial sensation that sets most people off. This "pinching" feeling is thought to be the sharp end of the needle penetrating the skin, but this is incorrect. In reality, this situation is caused by the anaesthetic itself causing pressure as it penetrates the tissues. The tissues themselves will stretch, which leads to the "pinch."
Slowly Does It
As a consequence, dentists realise that they need to let the anaesthetic into the tissues more slowly, as this would reduce the pinching sensation. Up until now, this had been easier said than done, as it is very difficult to know how slowly they should progress for best effect. Technology has come to the rescue, however, with a great solution.
Technology Is Your Friend
Today, the device used to deliver the anaesthetic is computer controlled. The units themselves are calibrated in such a way as to deliver the anaesthetic at a very specific rate. As you might expect from anything that is computer controlled, this is now likely to be much more precise than even the most established dentist could achieve by him or herself.
Just to Be Safe
In addition, dentists are now following the practice of administering a numbing "gel" to the area first, before they even get the needle out. So, a combination of numbing agent and computer-controlled delivery means that you are unlikely to feel anything at all when you come to the dentist now.
Extra Sedation Options
If, after all of that, you are still sensitive about the procedure then you can discuss with your dentist some additional solutions. In these cases, your dentist may be able to help you with "conscious sedation," which is generally delivered via liquid or a pill. You will need to allow extra time when you visit the dentist in this situation, though, as the sedative may take up to an hour to take effect.