|Credit: ponsulak, stock photo contrubutor/ found at freedigitalphotos.net|
I have never needed any major dental work of any kind. However, when I have needed small fillings over the years, I must admit that the worst part for me was definitely the left over numb feeling from the anesthesia. I would invariably end up turning my cheek into hamburger and couldn't eat at all for the remainder of the day as the numbness would spread into my throat and all the way into my eyes.
For years I had a fabulous dentist that did the most beautiful work and was so nice. He held the belief that there is no reason to lose your teeth to poor dental care, no matter how old you are. I referred many friends who did need significant work done and they were so thankful that I had sent them. However, there was always this problem for me with the leftover numb feeling that would drive me insane, cause me to be unable to work the rest of the day and give me a mouth full of pain that lasted for more than a week from all the chewing I ended up doing to my over numb mouth. No matter what I said about it, the dentist would never offer to do anything about this problem. Since he was so good and I rarely needed anything done, I just chose to live with it.
A couple of years ago that wonderful dentist retired. He found a replacement that came highly regarded. I have to admit though that I was skeptical about having someone new work on my teeth as I have heard so many dental horror stories. But the other day I had no choice; it was time to try out the skills of the new dentist.
I decided that I would 'bite the bullet' and hit this guy up with my over-numbness issue. I figured if I gave him the true test of my worst issue right off the bat, then that would tell me a lot about this guy. I laid it out there that I would actually prefer a little pain during the procedure than to have to put up with the awful problems I have with all the numbness.
To my surprise, the dentist offered to let me have a short acting anesthesia and to use about half as much as he usually would. He told me that some people choose to forgo anesthesia altogether. So here was my chance. I was going to have to put my money where my mouth was!
And I did. I took him up on the offer and I went with very little anesthesia. My fillings were small and I only felt some real sensitivity in one area. I still got numb all the way into my eyes, but it didn't last long. In fact, by the time I left the office my numbness was almost completely gone! I did also notice a little soreness in the two areas where the work was done for several hours after, but that was nothing compared to the damage I would have done to my mouth had I been so darn numb.
It turned out to be the perfect trade off for me. I will absolutely choose this option again, when needed.
What about you? Do you ever choose short term pain over a more long term annoyance? Have you ever had dental work without anesthesia?