Category Archives: Sedation Dentist

Dentist Cannot Get Me Numb

My dentist tried a paste and seven injections and still could not get me numb. I am in desperate need of a root canal treatment, but the procedure was too excruciating. He ended the appointment and refunded my money. He told me he’d do some research, but I may need to get this extracted surgically with anesthesia if we can’t do the root canal treatment. I really want to save the tooth if possible. He prescribed me some more antibiotics and said he’d be in touch before the prescription runs out. Do you have any way that I can avoid losing this tooth?


Dear Angela,

Woman resting in dental chair from dental sedation

I am sorry for the horrible experience you went through. The fact that you still want to try and save your tooth says a lot about your character and perseverance.

The good news is I have a solution for you. It sounds like your dentist may not yet be aware of the connection between dental anxiety and the ability to get numb.

When you have a high level of dental anxiety, which many do, your metabolism can burn off the numbing medication before it can be of any use to you.

While you cannot just will your anxiety away, there is a medication that sedation dentists can provide for you that will do it for you. Not only will the medication completely relax you, but if you wanted to you would be able to completely sleep through your entire appointment.  Because of this, some people have dubbed it sleep dentistry.

My suggestion is you see a dentist who offers oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill that you will take before your appointment. Be aware that it is strong. In fact, it is so strong you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours after your appointment. This will be important because you will still be a bit woozy and unsteady on your feet. I would plan on a day of napping or binge-watching your favorite streaming channel.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.


Sedation Dentistry for Severely Autistic Child

I have a non-verbal, severely autistic child. Most of the time he is a perfect angel. But, when he has an episode it can be a bit nightmarish. He has a dental appointment coming up. I’ve opted for using a sedation dentist. I know he’ll be fine once the sedation takes affect, but how do I prepare him for the appointment leading up to the sedation? I want it to go as smoothly as possible so he will not dread dental care.


Dear Sherri,

Child receiving treatment from a dentist

I can tell right away that you are a great mother. This alone will help your son with every obstacle he will face. I also feel that sedation dentistry is a great choice for your child, so way to go with that decision. Here are some things you can do to help with your son’s appointment.

Communication is Key

This is true of almost everything. However, with any medical procedure, it is even more important. The first thing I would do is make sure your sedation dentist has a complete medical history on your son. Let them know of any special considerations, such as mobility issues, etc. Is he able to swallow pills or will he need a liquid sedation? Will he need a caregiver with him? You can even tell them about his likes and dislikes.

Get to Know the Place

Some dentists are willing to let patients, especially children, make a visit to the office before their appointment. They can see the rooms, meet the staff, and just have fun without anyone trying to do any treatment for them. If your dentist doesn’t do that, then you can show them pictures of the office from their website. These usually have images of happy patients in them.

Bring Security Items

Are there things that help your son feel more comfortable, such as a special blanket, or stuffed animal? If so, bring them. Does he like music? Let him listen to music. As you know, autistic children do better with routine. If there is a certain part of the day he does better with “errands”, then see if they can schedule you during that time, so it is more natural for him.

I’m sure things will go smoothly.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Should I Take My Son to a Sedation Dentist

I’m sort of kicking of myself for how my son’s last dental appointment went. He’s been going to my dentist for all his check ups. This last appointment didn’t go so well. He’s six year old and normally does so well. This time, however, he was a bit fidgety. Our dentist said he had a cavity and mentioned that he could take care of it right then. My son melted down and slid out of the chair and started crying. He didn’t let anyone touch him. Now I’m wondering if I should have not tried to bring him to a sedation dentist. Now I am afraid he’ll never cooperate at the dentist again. Did I ruin his view of the dentist by not planning ahead?

Callie Anne

Dear Callie Anne,

Children in a line smiling

I’m glad you wrote. I don’t think you’ve completely ruined your son. Hindsight is always 20/20 so don’t judge yourself too harshly. You obviously care about your son and have been careful to take care of his oral health. It is equally obvious that your dentist is not used to working with children. Had he been familiar with children, he would not have just sprung a new procedure on your son like that. Children need a little bit of preparation for the unfamiliar.

My suggestion to you is similar to what you’ve already figured out. It would help him adjust back to the dentist by having sedation for this filling. I don’t think he would need anything strong, such as oral conscious sedation. Just some nitrous oxide would be enough to relax him enough to be calm and allow the dentist to do the work.

However, I am also going to suggest you look for another dentist for your son. It does not have to be a pediatric dentist. Instead, you could see a general dentist who is good with children. One way to know if they enjoy children is to ask what age they are first willing to see them. If they first see children around two years old, you can know that they enjoy working with children. If they want to wait until they are around five years old, then I would look for someone else.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Discouraged About My Teeth

I have had trouble with my teeth my entire life. I started needing root canal treatments in my teen years. My dentists always assumed I was not taking care of my teeth. This was absolutely not true. I brush my teeth twice a day AND floss. I have done this since I was a kid. Despite that, I always have tons of cavities. Yet, friends of mine that hardly care about their teeth seem to skate by cavity free. One of my low points was my sophomore year of college. One of my front teeth had a root canal treatment in my teen years. However, my parents could not afford to get a crown put on it. Here I am, year two in my university with a tooth which had turned gray. As if that wasn’t bad enough, my tooth literally crumbled. I was humiliated with half a tooth in the front of my mouth. I was afraid to speak and never smiled. Eventually, I saved up enough to get a dental crown from a dentist within walking distance of my dorm. But, the crown doesn’t match any of my other teeth and looks obviously fake. Fast forward. I’m married and my husband has some dental insurance. I went to see a dentist and he said that my mouth was a mess and I should consider just extracting my teeth and getting dentures. I’m only 27 years old and have spent the last two days crying at the idea. Is there no other solution for someone in my situation?


Dear Callie,

Woman with beautiful smile

I am sorry you have been faced with either lazy or judgmental dentists. Believe it or not, most dentists went into their field because they want to help people. You’ve seemed to have gotten a couple of duds. I am going to be honest with you and say that your current dentist is not going to be the best dentist for you.

Some patients, like yourself, can do everything right and still end up with high maintenance teeth. It’s the genetic lottery and you didn’t get the big prize. However, there are a few things you can do to help yourself.

Do NOT Get Dentures

before and after facial collpase
Before and After Facial Collapse
Whatever you do, please do not get your teeth extracted and get dentures. Once your teeth are removed, your body will immediately begin to resorb the minerals in your jawbone to use elsewhere in your body.

This will have the side effect of shrinking your jawbone. After ten or so years, you will no longer have enough jawbone left to keep your dentures in place. Not to mention that it will age your appearance by decades. This is totally avoidable and I don’t want you to have to face such severe consequences when there are options.

Find a Sedation Dentist Willing to Invest in Your Teeth

The first thing I want you to do is find another dentist, one who is totally willing to invest as much work as necessary to fix your teeth. Ideally, you should look for a sedation dentist. The benefit to this, aside from anxiety-free/pain-free appointments, is that it will allow you to get more work done during each appointment. This enables you to catch up faster.

A Simple Step You Can Take

Most people think oral hygiene is all they need to keep their cavities at bay. The truth is, however, that brushing generally only gets to the smooth surfaces of your teeth. In order to get into all those cracks and crevices, you need your saliva to have time to do the beavy lifting. Our saliva is loaded with bacteria fighting minerals. However, if you snack a lot it doesn’t have enough time to do the work. If possible, limit your eating to three times a day and only one snack. This gives your saliva more time to work. Doing this simple step will allow you to reduce your chance of cavities.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Dentist Cut Me and I Want a Refund?

My last dental appointment was a disaster. I needed a crown on one tooth and a dental filling on another tooth. It was a two-hour procedure that went from bad to worse, he splashed some type of chemical that got in my eye and burned like mad. Then, he cut my lip with a dental tool. As if that was not enough, he then slipped with the dental drill and cut my tongue. In all this, not only did he not once apologize, but he tried to blame me. He said that none of it would have happened if I would have stayed still like I was supposed to. Is there a way to get a refund from this jerk?

Sunny W.

Dear Sunny,

Woman resting from dental sedation

Unfortunately, though he seems to have very poor skills, I don’t think you’ll be able to get a refund…or an apology. A lawsuit would not really be worth your time or money because I don’t think you could demonstrate there has been enough damage to even cover the cost of the suit. The only thing you can do is write a review warning other potential patients about his lack of abilities and consideration. That will make a dent in his business.

As for the wiggling. Even if you were wiggling, he could have stopped and figured out why you were so uncomfortable so the procedure could have continued safely. My suggestion is for your next dentist you look for someone who is a sedation dentist. They can offer you medication that will completely relax you for the duration of your procedure.

Some options are mild, such as nitrous oxide which allows you to get on with your day as soon as the procedure is completed. If you want something stronger, I’d recommend oral conscious sedation. Though it is administered with a pill, it is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment as well as stay with you for several hours after the procedure. You will be loopy and unsteady on your feet.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Can’t Get Numb At Dentist

I have always had a hard time getting numb at the dentist. My last appointment was no different. In fact, I would call it torture. I’m about to give up and just extract all my teeth and get dentures. Before I do that, though, I just wanted to check and see if you have ever encountered this with other patients. If so, did you find a solution for them?


Dear Jason,

Man in pain in need of an emergency dentist

Please don’t extract all of your teeth. Dentures cause more problems than they solve. I do have a solution for you. Many dentists are not aware of the connection between dental anxiety and numbing medication. The higher the anxiety, the less effective the medication. There is something that happens to your metabolism with fear that kicks in and tends to burn off the numbing medication before it has a chance to really work for you.

The key is to make certain the patient is completely relaxed before administering the Novocaine so that it has a chance to really kick in. What you need is a sedation dentist. These dentists are used to working with anxious patients and have medication that can help you relax.

In your case, I am going to suggest you use oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill. However, it will relax you so much that you could sleep through your entire procedure.

Patients who’ve used oral conscious sedation have their lives changed and their ability to get their dental care done in a pain-free manner restored. Additionally, because you can sleep, your dentist can get more work done at each sitting.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Twelve Shots to Get Numb?

I recently had a lower second molar extracted. The appointment was a nightmare. First, it took twelve shots for him to get me numb. How he could miss the area that many times is beyond me. Then, I had a bone spur in the area that took the dentist over thirty minutes to get. Now, I seem to have a sharp edge on the extraction site. I’ve sort of lost confidence in this dentist. Can you tell me if this is normal or if I need to have another procedure done to deal with this?


Dear Cassidy,

Woman holding her jaw in pain

I would find it hard to think any dentist would actually miss the spot that many times. The more likely scenario is that you had some dental anxiety going in and, as a result, your body was fighting the local anesthetic.

Unfortunately, not enough dentists currently understand the connection between dental anxiety and the inability to get numb. I am going to recommend for your next appointment where you need any work done you see a sedation dentist. Even just some nitrous oxide will help relax you, which in turn enables the anesthetic to do its work.

For those with a more severe level of anxiety, I recommend oral conscious sedation. While it is administered by a pill, it is so strong that you will need someone to drive you to and from your dental appointment as well as stay with you for a few hours afterward until you are lucid and steady on your feet again. Most people who use oral conscious sedation sleep through their appointment.

As for the bony ridge. sharp edges do show up during the healing process. You don’t notice them at first because your gums are swollen. As the swelling goes down the ridges appear. If it stays a problem, your dentist can clip it.

One thing I want to make sure your dentist addressed is the need to replace that second molar. If you leave the space open, your other teeth can drift or tip into the space, which will throw off your bite. That can lead to painful TMJ Disorder.

If you want the best tooth replacement, I’d look into a dental implant. However, you do have other options.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Wisdom Teeth and Dental Sedation

I have a daughter who is nineteen years old. She needs her wisdom teeth extracted but has terrible dental anxiety. My dentist has always had trouble working with her and is suggesting we take her somewhere that can do the procedure with general anesthesia. That scares me. Is there an alternative for her?


Dear Penny,

Unless there is some highly unusual complication with your daughter’s case, which I doubt, then there will be no need for your daughter to have to do this procedure under general anesthesia.

You mentioned your daughter has always had trouble at the dentist. Many dentists don’t realize the connection between dental anxiety and the inability to stay numb. It causes too many patients distressing dental appointments. The good news is there is a solution.

You need to have her wisdom teeth extracted by a sedation dentist. Specifically, you will want one who offers oral conscious sedation. This is administered by a pill, but is so strong that you will need to drive her to and from her dental appointment as well as stay with her for a few hours until she is lucid and steady on her feet again. With this, she will be so relaxed that she will likely completely sleep through her procedure.

Some more good news for you and her is that she is at the perfect age to have her wisdom teeth removed. The bone is still pliable. Plus, there has not been time for cementum to have accumulated on the roots of the teeth. It should be a fairly easy procedure.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.