Novocain will not work

I am very sensitive to dental drugs. In fact, pretty much all numbing drugs used by a dentist work very strangely on me. It’s not a biological or allergic reaction, they simply don’t work normally for me. The only way I seem to be able to get through dental procedures is if I’m unconscious. It’s not due to pain tolerance because I’ve had other medical procedures done without anesthetics. Have you heard of this? I really want to improve my smile and I don’t know what to do.

– Johnny from Tennessee


You are not alone. It is not uncommon for novocaine to fail on patients that are particularly anxious. We have found that nitrous oxide can calm these patients down enough that novocaine actually works. But there are others that require complete  sedation to achieve numbness.

There is actually something in your body chemistry that is not allowing you to be receptive to novocaine. When nitrous oxide is administered first, I have found that if I wait for a small period of time before beginning work, the novocaine will take effect. If this doesn’t work, then you need to be fully sedated.

This has been found most frequently with individuals that have had a past traumatic experience at the dentist. For example, when a patient as a child was treated without the use of any numbing agent.

I would recommend that you seek out a sedation dentist or a dentist that uses sleep dentistry techniques. Conscious sedation is much less expensive, more convenient, and safer than general anesthesia. For most patients, you simply won’t remember a thing and even more importantly you won’t feel a thing.

Best of luck to you.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.

Related link: gentle dentistry

Is a crown the right treatment?

Have you heard of placing a crown on a tooth that does not require a root canal?

Many months ago, the porcelain broke off of the crown on one of my back molars. I think it was due to the fact that I was unconsciously grinding my teeth. The tooth now appears black in color. When I discussed my concern with my dentist, he didn’t seem at all concerned. I was told that the issue was more cosmetic but was still safe and would still function properly.

Any insight you may have is appreciated.

– David in Missouri


If your tooth is in danger of breaking, then a dental crown is commonly placed to restore it. Even if your tooth does not require a root canal treatment. The link between the root canal and the crown is due to the fact that a tooth with a root canal is more prone to breaking. So that is why a crown often times accompanies a root canal.

In regard to the chipping of the porcelain, this sounds like the laboratory may be at fault. If your particular crown is constructed of a metal framework underneath the crown, you should be okay. You will not have to replace the crown because the metal should protect your molar.

I hope this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Lafayette dentist Theriot Family Dental Care.

Related posts: CEREC Crown, Emergency Dentist