If you’ve had routine dental treatment – some fillings, or root canal therapy perhaps – you are likely to have been given local anaesthetic. For many people, this was the most unpleasant part of the whole dental experience – after all, once you were numb, you wouldn’t feel any pain from treatment. But the injection itself often came with an irritating “bee sting” feeling that would last a little while before numbness kicked in.
Even if you managed to avoid – or to tolerate – the bee sting sensation, once your treatment was complete you may well have left the dental surgery feeling as if someone had given you a fat lip.
The effects of local anaesthetic would last for a good few hours after your crown or filling was placed, or your root canal cleaned. During that time, you could expect to experience a numb tongue and/or lips. Eating or drinking was a risky business – you would wait for your coffee to go tepid to ensure that it didn’t burn your numbed tissues, only for half of it to dribble down your shirt as you tried to negotiate your numbness.
Trying to eat anything was a definite no-no. If you did try to have any food, it could prove very difficult to chew, and when the local anaesthetic eventually wore off while you would have no pain or discomfort from your treated tooth, you might find that you’ve been inadvertently chewing your tongue or lips instead of your lunch.
Now, this can be a thing of the past. At Smilecraft in Stevenage we use The Wand, a pain-free injection system that not only gets rid of the bee sting effect by removing the margin for human error, but also has the capability to deliver targeted anaesthetic, so that only the relevant tooth or teeth are numbed.
The Wand looks like a pen and is connected to a computer, which controls the delivery of your anaesthetic. That way, once your treatment is finish you can stroll out of the surgery with a mended tooth and no bothersome numbness – not to mention the ability to drink your well-deserved coffee.