Numbing Gel for Dental Phobia


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The prospect of having a needle inserted into your gums can be a daunting one indeed, particularly if you have suffered from a more painful experience in the past which has left you less than keen on having another injection. Numbing gel provides an option for patients who are afraid of the needle and its potential pain to the point that they can’t attend their dental appointments.

What is a numbing gel?

A numbing gel is a local anaesthetic which can be applied topically. Like all other local anaesthetics, it serves to numb a very specific location of the body, rendering it insensitive to pain and allowing procedures that would otherwise be too painful to be conducted. Dentists tend to desensitise areas upon which they are going to work by means of an injection that applies a local anaesthetic. A numbing gel can be used to anaesthetise the area that is to be anaesthetised, and is generally available upon request for patients with a phobia.

The use of numbing gels

For patients who cannot get over the phobia itself a dentist can offer some techniques or treatments which alleviate the pain that a patient would endure during the necessary treatments. For a patient whose phobia either entirely or partially revolves around the issue of pain, needles or anaesthetics, then the dentist may offer the option of using numbing gel. 

Numbing gel is the patient friendly name for topical anaesthetic, and using it not only reduces pain but also will also give the patient peace of mind and help them to prepare themselves mentally for the treatment to come. This gel can be applied directly to the gums and thus reduces the pain when a needle enters the tissue. It is specifically designed for external application rather than internal. It is not appropriate for all dental procedures; some of the more complex may still require a local anaesthetic. Nevertheless if a patient can have a numbing gel, then it can work to not only relax the patient and make them more comfortable regarding the treatment they are facing but also remove any pain. 

Injecting into a patient’s mouth is a tricky skill made even more difficult if the injection is to be administered to an awkward spot. It can be made all the more tricky if the patient is tense, nervous or anxious due to suffering from a dental phobia. There is the additional stress that if they can tell the patient is upset then the dentist will be unable to relax and this will make it difficult for them to administer the injection with ease. Due to the various problems regarding injections a patients experience and indeed the amount of pain they endure will depend to a large extent on the skill of the dentist. Not all dentists use numbing gels, but if available it is certainly a good option for many patients. That being said sometimes the solution may be to change dentists as depending on level of skill some dentists are able to administer virtually pain-free injections without the aid of a numbing gel. Even with a particularly skilled dentist many patients feel more comfortable and confident in a dentist surgery if they are given a numbing gel. You can always ask your dentist about numbing gels or alternatively find a dentist who specialises in pain-free procedures which would of course incorporate products such as numbing gel. 

Adverse effects of numbing gels

It is relatively rare for a patient to be allergic to the numbing gel. Many of the ingredients in the numbing gel are found in a vast range of products including throat lozenges, creams for skin irritations and sunburn remedies. Most reactions would include rashes or inflammation. If a patient is concerned about allergic reaction they should discuss the issue with the dentist and ensure that the dentist tests the patient before properly applying it.    

Children and numbing gels

A further benefit of numbing gel is that it can be used on children. In fact it is an exceptionally child-friendly treatment. It is available in a variety of types and flavours; it can be applied as a spray rather than a gel and flavours include cherry and banana which makes it much palatable to a child. Choosing the flavour themselves also distracts a child and allows them an element of choice and independence; so they will hopefully feel as if they have some choice and say in what is happening to them and therefore be less intimidated by everything that is occurring. It is also ideal for children as due the fact that it takes time for it to work it slows the treatment down thus giving the child a chance to relax and become familiar with their surroundings and therefore hopefully removing much of their fear. 


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