In our last blog, we discussed the reasons why some patients experience dental anxiety or fear. In these next several posts, we’ll examine ways your Reno dentist can calm your nerves and eliminate your fears so you can have the dental care you need for a smile that is healthy and beautiful. Let’s first talk about topical anesthetics.
Topical Anesthetic from Your Reno Dentist
A topical anesthetic is applied to soft tissue in order to numb it a little. Sometimes it is even called numbing gel. The dentist or hygienist will usually put the gel on with a cotton swab, gauze or their gloved finger. The gel needs to sit on the surface for a few minutes in order for it to be most effective.
When Is a Topical Anesthetic Used?
A dentist in Reno typically uses topical anesthetic to numb your cheek or gums before an injection of local anesthetic. The topical makes the injection much more comfortable.
Can Topical Anesthetic be Used Instead of an Injection?
No. A topical—as the name suggests—works on the surface of mucosa or gums. However, it cannot reach nerve tissue underneath your gums or deep inside a tooth where the pulp chamber houses the nerve.
Therefore, if the dentist needs to drill into a tooth—as is necessary when placing a tooth-colored filling, a dental crown or another type of tooth restoration—then more than a topical anesthetic is required. A topical may also be used during a deep cleaning to treat periodontal disease.
Is Topical Anesthetic Used for Every Procedure?
Not necessarily. However, if having a topical anesthetic applied makes you feel better, then there’s certainly no reason not to ask for it! For people with dental anxiety, topical anesthetic can make basic preventive care more tolerable.
Preventive Dentistry for a Healthy Smile
The American Dental Association recommends that everyone see the dentist at least twice each year for a dental checkup. These visits are a chance to have your teeth professionally cleaned, removing superficial stains that can mar your smile as well as plaque and spots of tartar.
In addition, your dentist will carefully examine the condition of your teeth and gums during a checkup. When conducted at regular intervals, this examination goes a long way toward preventing dental problems.
About Sage Dental Care
Sage Dental Care focuses on providing high-quality dental care in a comfortable setting. We believe in always being there for our patients, even during emergencies. If you have a toothache, we will find the cause to provide you with the treatment you need. Do not wait. Contact our office today!