Numbing gel is one of the methods used by dentists to reduce pain and relax nervous patients.
It is not uncommon for dental patients to become worried about going in for treatment, usually due to a fear of needles or general anxiety about the clinical environment.
However, numbing gel can help to make visits to the dentist relatively pain-free and improve the patient experience.
Available at Pearl Dental Clinic, the gel is also known as a topical anaesthetic and is usually applied to the gums before procedures that require an injection.
For complex dentistry, patients are likely to need a local anaesthetic via an injection. The numbing gel will therefore be put on beforehand, helping to ease the discomfort when the needle enters the tissue.
In most cases, the gel will need to be left on for about one minute in order to be effective.
People who experience feelings of anxiety or have a phobia of dental work can ask their specialist if they use numbing gel beforehand, specifying that they are nervous and would benefit from a pain-free injection.
Some dentists may not use it automatically for every procedure, but will be happy to do so once a patient makes the request.
As well as the gel, topic anaesthetics are available in the form of sprays, ointments, jellies and creams. However, the gel has proved particularly popular among patients in recent years.
The fact that numbing gel also comes in a variety of flavours makes it good for helping younger patients to overcome their fear of dental procedures.
Some children find trips to the dentist intimidating, particularly if they are due to receive an injection. However, applying a numbing gel with a flavour such as cherry or banana can help to take their mind off the treatment.
The most widely used topical anaesthetics include lidocaine and benzocaine, although there are many different products available to dentists.
Although it is uncommon, some patients may be allergic to the anaesthetic agent used in the numbing gel. Dentists will carry out a simple check before applying it properly, but it is important that patients who are aware of any allergies let their dentist know.
Other techniques are available for people who need help relaxing at the dentist, such as Intra Venous sedation, the Wand painless injection system, hypnotherapy sessions, aromatherapy massage and soothing music.
Extremely anxious patients, for whom the application of numbing gel may not be enough to put them at ease, may like to enquire about the possibility of oral or intravenous sedation before a major dental procedure.