Theriot Family Dental

Did Dental Shots Cause My Problem?

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I recently had to have a tooth extracted. At the time of the procedure, it took an incredible and excruciating number of shots to get me numb. I lost count at about twelve. Then, a few days later a bone spur appeared. I went back and the dentist took care of that, with more pain shots. Now, I’ve got a bony ridge at the extraction site. It’s almost like a sharp piece of bone sticking out. Is this happening because of the number of shots he gave me? I am sort of dreading going back but this ridge is painful. Any recommendations?


Dear Kevin,

Man holding his jaw in pain, in need of emergency dental care.

As your extraction site heals, it is normal for a bony ridge to appear. It was actually there before but the swelling around the extraction site kept it hidden. This is not something that happened as a result of the number of shots you had, but rather is a normal part of the process. As the gum recedes down, the ridge is more obvious. If it is bothering you, which it sounds like it is, your dentist can smooth it over or even clip it.

As I say that, I am guessing you are not too keen on returning to the dentist. You had quite a traumatic experience. While there are times a dentist can miss the spot he’s supposed to be hitting, twelve would be quite an extensive amount of times to miss it. Instead, I think the number of shots you required was a result of your body’s reaction to some natural anxiety.

It isn’t well known yet, but there is a correlation between how easy it is to get a patient numb and their level of anxiety. It is normal to be nervous at an appointment, especially for something like a tooth extraction. Then, when you had trouble getting numb your anxiety went up. This, in turn, caused your body to burn off the medication even faster. The good news is there is a solution to this.

Next time ask your dentist to give you some nitrous oxide before your procedure. This is a gas you breathe in that will relax you enabling the numbing medicine to effectively do its job. If you feel your anxiety has increased due to your previous experience and you will need something stronger, there is the alternative called oral conscious sedation. While almost every dentist offers nitrous. you may have to search for someone who uses oral conscious sedation. You can either call around or do an internet search for a sedation dentist.

However, be aware that if you go the oral conscious sedation route, you will be so relaxed that you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment. So, plan ahead.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.
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