Lawrence Spindel DDS The Painless Injection

Dentist New York


By Lawrence Spindel DDS, Saturday, June 06, 2009

Giving a painless shot is pretty straight forward and fairly easily achieved. It requires a careful technique and there are several steps for the dentist to take that help achieve a pain free injection.

The first important step is to place topical anesthesia at the injection sit and to wait a couple of minutes for it to numb the site prior to the injection. Two minutes is actually a long time to wait for this ‘pre-numbing’. Many dentists wait about thirty seconds before injecting.

The second important step is to use a small gauge needle. I use a thirty gauge needle for infiltration anesthesia and a 27 guage needle for mandibular block anaesthesia. These gauges are narrow bores and cause less tissue trauma than wider bore needles.

A third trick is either pressure with a finger or cue tip near the injection site, This seems to lessen the sensation felt during a simultaneous needle stick. Sometimes dentists tug on a patients cheek for certain types of injections to distract the patient as well.

The fourth and most important aspect of a ‘painless’ injection is to very very slowly inject the anesthetic solution. Most of the discomfort felt by patients is probably due not to the initial needle stick but to the speed with which the anesthetic solution is deposited. Painless injections in general take longer to perform. Most of my injections take between 30 to 60 seconds.

Lastly, I try and talk with the patient prior to the injection and usually continue talking during the injection. I am doing this to distract and hopefully relax the patient. Anxiety prior to the injection can often make the patient experience a local anesthetic administration as more painful. Relaxed patients often comment on how gentle an injection was.