Fear of Needles and the dental injection

One of the biggest fears many patients have in the dental chair is the fear of the needle or dental injection. Many patients worry about the pain of the injection or the shock type feeling when trying to numb a lower tooth. Even the thought of the dentist using dental instruments for cleaning, examining, and/or drilling teeth causes them to break into a cold sweat. Of the many sharp and pointy objects a patient may first encounter is the needle. Today most dentists will typically apply a topical anesthetic  (cherry flavored) to help eliminate any sensations of the injection. Today’s modern local anesthetics have a neutral Ph so you hardly feel any discomfort. The type of local anesthesia can be tailored to the procedure so your entire face doesn’t have to be numb for hours after you leave the dental office.

Fortunately, we do understand needle phobia, also known as trypanophobia. It is completely natural and common among patients of all ages. If you are terrified of needles, we understand that you can’t “just get over it” and mentioning this phrase to you would probably not help you to either.  After all, the slight pinches you feel are very minor compared to pain you would feel without the anesthesia and you sure won’t want to undergo dental work without it.

Here are two tips to help your fear of needles:

  1. Focus on how much better you will feel after your dental work. Understand that Sedation Dentistry helps alleviate your fear of the dental injection and once numb you can receive pan less dental care.
  2. If sedation dentistry is not you you then perhaps listening to music, through your head phones or trying your best to close your eyes and relax. The point is not to build up anxiety about the perception of pain you will feel by being stuck with a needle. Modern dentistry has come a long way to eliminate your fear of the needle.

Hopefully, you find these tips helpful when visiting us in the Levittown office. Ask Dr. Gottlieb as many questions as you like and he will explain the many options you have to overcome your fear of the dentist and the fear of the dental injection.

If your terrible fear of the dental injections is preventing you from even staying in the dental chair comfortably, sedation dentistry is an option that can be taken which would help you overcome your fear of needles. Sedation dentistry is a very safe option for many patients. You are given pills or a liquid to take about 30 minutes before treatment. The medication will make you drowsy and relaxed. You will not be unconscious however, many patients do not remember the appointment. For those very nervous patients I.V. Sedation may be another option as well.  Sedation dentistry helps many patients get over their initial fears of needles.

Katherine Ynsinare & Marc Gottlieb DDS

About Dr. Marc Gottlieb

Dr. Gottlieb was raised on Long Island. After high school, he attended Union College. He graduated with thesis honors in biology and then shuffled off to Buffalo. While at the University of Buffalo he received many academic scholarships, awards and fellowships.

After graduation from dental school Dr. Gottlieb went on to a two year post-graduate residency program at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. At the Medical Center he received advanced training in dental anesthesiology and all the specialties of dentistry. That included but was not limited to advanced training in Root Canals, Oral Surgery, Dentures, and Cosmetic Dentistry. He is a leading authority in I.V. (intravenous) and Oral Sedation.

Dr. Gottlieb is currently on staff at Stony Brook University Hospital and recently awarded one the top providers of Continuing Education in Dentistry Today.