Hot Springs dentist Dr. Lance Porter knows that a pleasant dental experience is the cornerstone of building a trust-based relationship with patients. At Porter Dental Health Clinic, we ensure your comfort with the use of local anesthesia and a thoughtful, unique approach to its administration that will optimize your experience with us while allowing you to relax.
What Is Local Anesthesia?
Local dental anesthesia is a medication that numbs a section of your mouth for a limited amount of time, eliminating the pain or discomfort associated with dental treatments. It does not affect your cognitive abilities, so you stay awake and alert through your treatment. Dental anesthesia is often used for treatments like fillings and crowns. Before administering local anesthesia, Dr. Porter will assess and review your overall health and medical history, as well as your anxiety level. There are two types of dental anesthetics:
- Topical anesthetics: We use high-strength topical gel to numb the gums before an injection, eliminating that initial pinch from the needle. This helps alleviate the nervousness you may feel from the sight of a syringe.
- Local anesthesia: We inject into the area of the mouth that is being treated a powerful medication that blocks the nerves that sense and transmit pain. This allows you to remain comfortable while we administer the necessary treatments.
Administering Local Anesthesia
Prior to receiving an injection of dental anesthesia, Hot Springs dentist Dr. Porter will use cotton to gently dry the area and apply a high-strength numbing gel. Once the surface area is numb, the local anesthetic is slowly and gently injected. We take several measures to minimize any discomfort experienced upon injection:
- Warmed anesthetic: We have invested in technology that heats our anesthetic to body temperature, which removes the “cold” feeling often experienced during an injection.
The effects of local anesthetic can last a couple of hours after your treatment. Your mouth will feel swollen (even if it’s not) and you may experience difficulty speaking. To avoid accidentally hurting yourself, Dr. Porter recommends waiting until full feeling returns before chewing or eating.