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Dental Anesthesia

Anesthetic ineffective

04/15/2009

Question:

Anesthetics are not effective on me. Recently for an extraction and placing 2 titanium screws for implants I had 11 injections. The effects wore off very quickly, and each time it did I had considerable pain. I have always suffered a lot at dentists, but this was the first one who explained why. I am not double jointed at all, quite the opposite,but i do have a clicking jaw. [I forget the fancy name] My mom and my sister evidently have the same problem, and my mom sometimes has throat swelling. So my questions are: WHY me?? Should i have general in future? Are there any studies on this? Is anyone working on a new anesthetic that actually works for me?

Answer:

Jaw problems, termed Temporomandibular Disorders, are not the cause of local anesthetics not working effectively for you. There should be no relationship with this, other than it may be harder to keep your mouth open for long periods of time or limited mouth opening.

Just like any drug, local anesthetics work better in some people and not so well in others. There may be many reasons. Different local anesthetics, like bupivicaine or articaine may help. Special oral local anesthetic techniques, such as intraosseous, may help as well. This should be discussed with your dentist.

If you are still unable to achieve good local anesthesia, find a dentist anesthesiologist to provide general anesthesia in the dental office for needed dental work. They can be found at www.asdahq.org. Good luck.

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Response by:

Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS Steven I Ganzberg, SB, DMD, MS
Formerly, Clinical Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University