Trouble Getting Numb at the Dentist's?
You're Not Alone!

Has it ever taken a long time for the local anesthesia to kick in at the dentist's office? You might actually have a resistance to the numbing effects! If this sounds like you, or if you're hearing about this for the first time… this rather rare occurrence can occur due to a number of different reasons… but it isn't anything to stress over.

So… why do some people have trouble getting numb for the dental treatment? Here are some reasons:

  1. Differences in anatomy
    Because we're all anatomically diverse, a significant variation in typical anatomy can make it more difficult to properly administer the anesthetic in the perfect spot to get it numb. There are also certain medical conditions that may make a patient more resistant to the anesthetic's effects.
  2. Inflamed or infected area
    If a patient has some inflammation or an infection in the area, this can make it more difficult to successfully administer the shot.
  3. Technical difficulties… please stand by
    While on the rare side, technical errors such as administering the solution too quickly or not giving it enough time to kick in can result in a problem with the numbing agent taking effect. The good news is that these errors can be resolved and often do not occur when performed by a trained and skilled dentist, like our Hamilton dentist!
  4. Patient anxiety
    When a patient has severe anxiety, this can bring about hormones that can interfere with the effectiveness of the local anesthetic. However, this typically only occurs in a small number of patients, and all the patient will need is a little extra anesthetic.
  5. Having red hair
    Hard to believe, right?! Well, the fact remains that redheads are less sensitive to the numbing effects of local. We're sorry to all of the red-headed patients out there! Luckily, it's just going to take more anesthetic to do the job.

Well, it seems like patience is the key to overcoming a resistance to local anesthetic. The dentist will always find a way to ensure a painless dental experience… so don't worry if you happen to experiencing numbing difficulties.

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