Tag Archives: dental sealants

Numbing Medicine Doesn’t Work On My Daughter

My seven-year-old daughter developed a cavity on a back tooth, which is weird because they have sealings. I took her in for them to do the filling and they could not get the numbing medicine to work. She is in agony and ended up thrashing about. He did seven shots to no avail. He finally just sent her home without the tooth dealt with. Where do I go from here?

Maggie

Dear Maggie,

Little girl smiling in a dental chair

I am sorry you and your daughter had to go through this. It is agony watching our children suffer. The good news is I have a solution. It appears that your current pediatric dentist is not aware of the connection between anxiety and numbing medication.

If a patient is very anxious, it has the effect of metabolizing the numbing medication very quickly. Sometimes so quickly that the patient gets no benefit out of it. I feel this was what happened to your daughter. Traumatic experiences like this are what keep people away from the dentist in adulthood.

Our goals right now for her are two-fold. First, get the cavity dealt with before it blows up into something more substantial or even a dental emergency. Two, give her a positive experience at the dentist so she can feel good about her oral health care.

I want you to find a dentist who is good with children that also offers dental sedation. It doesn’t have to be a pediatric dentist. There are many general dentists who enjoy treating children and are qualified.

Under normal conditions, she would only need some nitrous oxide to relax her. However, after her recent experience, I am concerned that will not be enough. Look for someone who offers oral conscious sedation. It is so strong that she will sleep through her whole procedure. In fact, some people call it sleep dentistry for that reason. She is still conscious. This is not anesthesia. It just completely relaxes her which will allow that numbing medication to do its job.

Be aware that she will still be woozy for a few hours after that procedure. You might want to set her up a little castle on the couch and let her binge watch something like “A Series of Unfortunate Events,” which will entertain her while simultaneously realizing her life isn’t so bad.

As for her sealants. Sometimes those will come off. Make sure you have the dentist check that the others are still intact.

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