If you are about to get dental work done in your mouth that will hurt, your dentist will inject your mouth with an anesthetic first, so that you will not feel pain during the procedure. However, it’s understandable if you feel nervous about this part of your dental treatment. Many of our patients in the Des Plaines and Mount Prospect area have unanswered questions that increase their apprehension about letting a dentist work in their mouth.

Do any of these factors describe you?

  • You’re nervous at the very sight of a needle.
  • You feel faint at the thought of blood.
  • Anticipating pain makes you tense.

If so, you may want to read on to get some facts that will help you feel less anxious about the anesthesia your dentist will administer. In order to relieve your fears, we’ve provided answers to some of our patients’ common inquiries about what happens when the dentist administers an anesthetic. If you have more questions, don’t hesitate to talk to us. Dr. Patel and our friendly office staff will be happy to give you more details.

Where does the dentist inject you?

Where a dentist will administer your painkiller depends on the location of the tooth that will be treated, and it will also depend on the precise treatment that will be administered. However, no matter what procedure you are having done or which teeth are affected, anesthetic works when it connects with the nerves that belong to those teeth. Therefore, the dentist will be aiming the injection for the nerve that belongs to the tooth or teeth that he is about to treat.

Note that for administering either of the injections described below, the area will first be treated with a topical (surface) anesthetic in order to numb the area so that you won’t experience discomfort when you get the shot.

  • Top tooth – Think of an upside-down tree with a main stem and several branches. Nerves in your top teeth start in the upper jaw bone and branch out so that each nerve supplies feeling to an individual tooth. The dentist is experienced and trained in how to find these nerves. If only a single tooth will be treated, the dentist may only have to make one injection. The syringe will be inserted at the area near the tip of the your tooth’s root, in the seam where your gum line connects to the beginning of your lip. If the dentist is going to do something like pull the tooth, do a root canal or a crown, or even fix a deep cavity, there will be a need for anesthetic from both sides, so the dentist will also have to administer the shot to the roof of your mouth. This is more painful to most people despite the application of topical anesthetic, which is why we offer sedation dentistry for procedures such as extractions.
  • Bottom tooth – In order to numb your bottom teeth, the dentist will numb the main nerve that supplies feeling to that whole side of your jaw. This is done by reaching far back into your mouth behind your wisdom teeth and making an injection of painkiller near the hinge of your jaw. Your dentist may decide to administer anesthetic to individual tooth roots as well, depending on the procedure.

Depending on the amount and type of anesthetic the dentist uses, you may not be able to feel your mouth for two hours or more after your visit.

As always, make your dentist aware of any allergies to any medications you may have, and be sure to note any other health issues you may have, such as heart problems, as this will affect the decisions your dentist will make for which anaesthetics to administer safely to you.

Contact us today to schedule an appointment for your next dental visit!