Dr. Fred Wong earned a B.S. in Psychobiology and became a Doctor of Dental Surgery in 1988. Shortly thereafter, he joined a practice with several other dental care professionals. It didn’t take long for office staff to recognize his talent relative to numbing patients. As a result, he started treating every difficult case. Now the owner of his own practice, to this day, Dr. Wong expertly numbs patients using several tried-and-true methods.
How to Numb Gums
In most cases, dentists apply a topical anesthetic (gel) to superficially numb patients before an injection. Then, they inject a local anesthetic (procaine) into the cheek or gum. This medication is also known as lidocaine, novocaine, or articaine. Oftentimes, these sufficiently numb gums and tissue so the dentist can work. However, sometimes, additional numbing is necessary to make sure the patient remains comfortably pain-free. Thus, the next step would be to administer Nitrous Oxide via a face mask. (You’ll need to remove your COVID-19 mask to use it. But don’t worry. We thoroughly clean and disinfect equipment after each use. In fact, we have done so long before Coronavirus.) Finally, if laughing gas does not suffice, the dentist may sedate the patient.
Dr. Wong uses oral sedation, so patients feel drowsy or even fall asleep during the procedure. Medication is delivered in pill form and taken prior to the dental treatment. In some cases, the patient remains awake but still feels relaxed enough to undergo treatment. Patients often describe feeling a sense of calm relaxation.
The numbing effects of novocaine typically wear off after 30 to 60 minutes, although several other factors play a role in how long the drug’s effects last. Generally speaking, the higher the dose of medicine given, the longer it will last. Your dentist will determine how much numbing medicine you will need based on your body size as well as the procedure he or she is performing.
Levels of Sedation
- Minimal Sedation
You are awake but relaxed.
- Moderate Sedation (Formerly called “Conscious Sedation”)
The patient may slur their words when speaking and may not remember much of the procedure.
- Deep Sedation
Puts the patient on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened.
- General Anesthesia
The patient is completely unconscious.
With so many options for dental sedation, please don’t put off dental work. Doing so often worsens the condition. And, at Blue Ocean Dentistry, we will do everything in our power to make sure you remain comfortable throughout the entire process. Happy Thanksgiving!
About Dr. Fred Wong of Blue Ocean Dentistry in Glendora, California
Dr. Fred Wong and the staff at Blue Ocean Dentistry use the latest available dental treatments, equipment, and materials – all of which make a marked difference in our patients’ experiences. We are committed to helping our patients achieve optimal dental health. We creatively combine dental science and artistry — which can literally redesign your smile. Since even a subtle change in your smile will help you to project self-confidence and high self-esteem, we love helping you feel good about yourself. We deliver the finest dental care at the most reasonable cost and accept most dental insurance plans as well as CareCredit. For more about the dental treatment plans we offer or to schedule an appointment, call today (626) 852-6999.