My last dental procedure was one problem after another. First, it took twelve shots of Novocaine to get me numb enough to remove one tooth. That set the tone for the rest of this. A few days after that, a bone spur developed at the extraction site. It took over thirty minutes for that to be removed, so more pain. Now, it seems I have a sharp, bony ridge sticking out at one spot. It’s making eating a bit difficult for me. Is this another problem or a normal part of the process when the site is healing? I have pretty much lost all confidence in my dentist at this point.
The ridge you are experiencing is normal and part of the healing process as you wondered. While I don’t think your dentist did anything “wrong” here, I do not think he is going to be the best dentist for you. When you were having trouble getting numb, it should have been obvious you needed a relaxant. Either he doesn’t keep any on hand or he does not understand the connection between dental anxiety and the inability to get numb.
For some reason, when a patient is anxious it metabolizes the numbing medication faster. The higher the anxiety, the faster it metabolizes. What your dentist should have done is provide you with either nitrous oxide, or if your anxiety was really high, oral conscious sedation. The nitrous is a gas you just breathe in, but is a mild relaxant. When the procedure is done, your dentist switches the gas back to oxygen and you are good to go and carry on with your day as normal in about 15 minutes.
Oral conscious sedation is sometimes called sleep dentistry because it is so strong you will likely just sleep through your appointment. However, you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. You will be too loopy to get behind a wheel safely.
In your case, I would look for a sedation dentist for any further treatments you have. It will make your procedures easy as pie (the eating part, not the baking).
This blog is brought to you by Lexington, KY Dentist Dr. Fred Arnold.