Dentist Questions Dental Health

Do I have to be numb?

I don't like getting the numbing shots before a dental procedure. How much would it hurt to go without numbing for basic things like fillings?

23 Answers

Most patients prefer to be numb for the dental treatment because having 1 or 2 shots a lot of time is less stressful & painful than having dental treatment without being numb. Most dentists apply a topical anesthetic gel on the gum or use tricks to make dental injections less painful. You can also request to have nitrous oxide sedation or conscious sedation as a supplement or adjunctive to dental injection (it does not & should not replace the injection).
I would not recommend doing a filling without numbing the tooth unless it a very small cavity that is within the enamel surface. In Mid-deep fillings, I would always recommend getting numb as you will feel high sensitivity with air, water, and handpiece (Drilling).
Depend how deep is the cavity if superficial you won’t feel a thing once you touch the Dentin the 2nd layer after the enamel u won’t be able to tolerate the pain and of course if the decay is close to the pulp and pulp tissue need to be removed u would hate even the thought of trying treatment without numbing your teeth.
Depends on your pain threshold.
Depends on size and location of filling. consult the provider based on the x-ray
Everyone has a different tolerance to pain. You can try to have drilling and if it hurts, you would be better served to be anesthetized.
It’s always better when you are numb. ALWAYS.
You can always try it without anything and if you can’t handle it then get the freezing.
Depending on the depth of the filling, some people don't need to be numb. Others are sensitive to air or water on their teeth and therefore need numbing. Discuss the possibility with your dentist to customize the treatment to your needs and desires.
Depends on the size of the filling. Many can be done without numbing if they are small enough. The X-ray should help indicate the size of the filling.
It depends on the depth of the filling. If it is in the first layer, or enamel, you might able to get by without a shot, otherwise numbing is highly recommended for your comfort.
It really depends how deep the cavity is. There are people who have a very high pain threshold and do not need to be numbed.

In our office, we use a Solea Laser to repair a tooth. The Solea Laser allows us to deliver anesthesia-free, drill-free, blood-free and pain-free procedures for both teeth and gums. So, to answer your question, yes, you can absolutely have fillings done without the need for anesthesia or a dental drill with a Solea Laser.

Anthony Caramico
Whether or not a patient needs to get numb for fillings depends on many factors. The size, location,reason for restoration, type of restoration, type of preparation, age of the tooth,clinician training and experience, patient perception of the feeling during the procedure all have some effect on the need for numbing(local anesthesia). There are many fillings(restorations) I and other dentists perform with out local anesthesia routinely. The answer is between you the patient and the treating clinician.
Dr. Grimm
Pain is a relative thing. The deeper the filling, the closer to the nerve, the more likely that there will be discomfort. Everyone is different. Some don't, mind most do. It also has something to do with the skill and touch of the dentist. A good dentist can also administer a painless local anesthetic that won't hurt and assure no pain in the entire process.
Every patient is different. As you get older, the nerves within your teeth shrink and often become less sensitive. For smaller fillings, some patients may be comfortable without anesthesia. If you prefer to try a procedure without anesthesia, you can always raise your hand if you begin to feel things and the dentist could give you anesthesia at that time.
Pain has a massive psychological component - so you don’t have to be numb for any dental procedure. It really depends on what you are willing to put up with and what your pain tolerance level is. Think about child birth - some women request an anesthetic, others don’t.

I have performed many procedures from fillings to dental extractions without anaesthetic, so technically there is no reason you can’t have the procedure without it.
Neither you or your dentist would be comfortable without anaesthetic for restorative filling work. Current day handpieces for drills turn at far too high speed and generate spray from tooth material being evacuated and generating much discomfort with that anesthetic. It would not be in your advantage to limit thoroughness in removing all the decay in a tooth just because the dentist is afraid you might be uncomfortable. So think of the anaesthetic as a temporary measure to calm your feelings about the procedure and allow the dentist to do a complete restoration that is going to serve you for many years.
No one "likes" getting an injection to anesthetize "numb" for dental work. Unfortunately for most restorative procedures it is much more comfortable to be numb while having the work done. In my office, if a restoration is expected to be small and minimally invasive, I will give the patient an option to begin without the injection and see how they do. If they have any discomfort, we will stop and numb them up. On small cavities there are times that we can use "Air Abrasion" (a tiny sand blaster) to remove the damaged tooth structure without the need for an injection. The common thread to avoid an injection is the size and location of the decay. You can always try to go without the shot and if you are fine, great. The key for a dental professional, is that we do not want to work on a patient jumping around because the tooth in hurting. As long as you are comfortable and have no real pain, we are happy to go without the injection.
Just talk to your dentist before you begin the procedure.
Daniel A. Lieblong, D.D.S.
Getting numb for a dental procedure is not always necessary. Everybody's tolerance is different, but in my experience, small cavities can be completed without anesthetic with less discomfort that getting the shot, thereby reducing the length of time you have to be in the chair as well as not having to be numb for several hours after the procedure.
While I don't recommend it for everyone, I realize that every patient has a different tolerance. If you think you would like to try it, go for it! Just let the dentist know that if you want to get numb during the procedure, you want to raise your hand to let him know and you WANT to get numb. You might surprise yourself.
It is standard procedure to have dental anesthesia for fillings. However, everyone's pain tolerance is different and some shallow fillings may not require it. It is up to the discretion of the patient and dentist.
What I often tell my patients is that we can start cleaning out the cavity, and if it hurts to tell me and I'll stop and make them numb. Most of these patients, who don't like to feel numb afterward, put up with a fairly short period of pain and they're done. Something else I'll do is count to 10 and give them a short break. For me, personally, I'm afraid of needles, but I can't be worked on without being numb, so I breathe deeply through the injection - and then I fall asleep!
I tried it once when I had a small cavity filled. I won’t try it again. People do it all the time but it’s not for me.