Question: Are there ways to do dentistry with out the pain or a needle or sound of a drill?
Answer: Yes there are, but they are somewhat limited in what they can treat. For example, to not need a needle for treatment either the cavity has to be very small or the dentist uses something called "Air Abrasion" or "Laser Dentistry". These are technologies that enable the dentist to fix cavities without using a needle or drill however they are not as effective when the cavities are deep (close to the nerve) or the tooth is sensitive.
I think an injection is much better for pain control and is better for eliminating the "what if I feel this". An injection can almost be next to painless and the discomfort can be controlled by
1. The strength of the topical gel
2. The manner the injection is given by the dentist.
I have a very simple rule...if I can't get you numb, I will not work on you that day...sometimes people just don't numb up well and it's hard to explain why but rest assured that if you are uncomfortable then I am too so I will not make you do anything that is uncomfortable! We generally have great success in getting you more than adequately numb which gives you a very comfortable, pleasant experience. Nitrous oxide(laughing gas) will often help drown out some of the sounds of the drill and also with analgesia(pain relief) during the procedure.
Regarding the sounds of the drill, we always play music while we are working..I don't like the sounds any better than my patients do? I love music from the 80s and 90s so there is always music in the background or we will play whatever music you like. We also play movies if you prefer to listen to a movie and if that's not enough...I might even sing or dance for you!
Back to the original question, the use of injections(i.e. the needle) as well as the handpiece(i.e. drill) is sometimes unavoidable no matter how gentle we are. If this is a concern, then sedation dentistry may be a great way of assisting in eliminating the apprehension/anxiety of these procedures as well as waking up and not remembering what happened.
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