Anxiety is one of the top factors that can prevent you from getting numb at the dentist. If your body doesn’t respond to local anesthetic during dental appointments, sedation dentistry can help. But first, let’s review three factors that might be preventing you from responding to the anesthetic.

Factors that Can Prevent You from Getting Numb


Genetic disorders that involve the peripheral nervous system can cause resistance to dental anesthetics. Certain genes can also cause low pain tolerance and high resistance to anesthetics. In other cases, the location of tooth nerves is abnormal, making it difficult to pinpoint where anesthetic should be injected.

Incorrect Placement

Sometimes, due to a dentist’s error or other factors, anesthetic is placed in the wrong location. If it occurs repeatedly, there will be difficulty getting you numb enough to prevent you from feeling pain during or after a procedure.


Many people who suffer from dental anxiety have had negative experiences in the past. High anxiety can increase adrenaline flow and make it difficult for a dental anesthetic to be effective.

How Can Sedation Dentistry Help?

Sedation dentistry helps you relax prior to your dental procedure. It can also decrease your sensitivity to pain. Depending on the cause of your resistance to dental anesthetics, sedation dentistry can help. At the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry, we offer nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation.

  • Nitrous oxide – This odorless, colorless gas is often referred to as laughing gas. You’ll breathe it in before your dental treatment. It will give you a feeling of calmness and a sense of well-being. After your procedure, it’s quickly reversed with pure oxygen.
  • Oral conscious sedation – You’ll take commonly prescribed anti-anxiety medication in pill form about an hour before your appointment. When you arrive, you’ll be relaxed and ready for treatment.

Sedation dentistry makes dental visits more productive. More can be accomplished than usual during a single appointment.

If you are interested in discussing your options for sedation dentistry, contact us to request a consultation with one of our dentists at the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry.