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(Mother Nature Network)   The next time you go to the dentist and intensely feel the cold steel bite of his drill spinning vigorously into your decaying, exposed, cavity-riddled tooth, you can now blame a genetic mutation for why the anesthesia didn't work   (mnn.com ) divider line
    More: Scary, Anesthesia, Local anesthetic resistance, Sodium, sodium channels, specific sodium channel, Local anesthetic, Sodium channel, Yale University School  
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2547 clicks; posted to Main » on 11 Jan 2017 at 9:30 AM (8 days ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2017-01-11 11:05:51 AM  
Dental phobic here too. Except it's not just phobia, it's actually pain. Wish I could remember this one pill I was given once. It was great. Literally felt nothing.
 
2017-01-11 11:13:01 AM  
Anesthetics work on me, but it wears off pretty quickly.  A second or third shot is not unusual, and four is my personal best.  Dentist said the reason was I have a very healthy liver, which I'm sure puts me in the minority around here.
 
2017-01-11 11:14:48 AM  

Silverstaff: For ~25 years I thought dental anaesthetics had no effect on me.

As a kid, back around 1991 I had to have a filling in one tooth.  The anaesthetic numbed my mouth and I was talking funny. . .but I felt EVERYTHING when the dentist drilled me.  He wouldn't believe that I could feel everything and was shouting at me to stop screaming.  It was very, VERY unpleasant and rather mentally scarring to be forcibly held down by the hygenist while the dentist drills, feeling everything the whole way.

It left me with a life-long fear of dentists and dental work.

I finally went to a dentist last month.  The only other dental work I'd had in my whole life was having my wisdom teeth cut out (because the Army required it), and they knocked me out for that one.  I looked up a dentist that would do sedation dentistry, since I thought I was apparently immune to novocaine and would need to be knocked out to do anything to me.

They did a little test.  Nope, not immune.  They were able to do all the dental work I really, really needed with just a local, and I feel a helluva lot better afterwards.  It turns out that small-town dentist was just really incompetent and didn't numb the right part of my mouth, and refused to try again or believe me when I was basically telling him he missed with the first injection.


Same exact thing happened to me.  With the caveat that I actually needed quite a bit more freezing than the average person (which new dentist was happy to oblige).  I am in the process of getting all of my teeth fixed up because of this, and what a relief it is to be able to chew without worry.

I want to go back and kick that monster in the shins.  I was a kid!  It was brutal.
 
2017-01-11 11:15:25 AM  
I have always had trouble and so has my Mom.  I always felt everything at the dentist, even after 4 or 5 shots of Novocaine.  I once woke up during deviated septum surgery and felt the guy chiseling down the cartilage in my nose.  Couldn't move or talk...but you would think tears running down my face would have been a clue.  Doctor didn't believe me afterwards until I told him about his golf conversation with the anesthesiologist.  Boy did he look scared then!  I am also awake on the way to surgery even though they always give you something ahead of time.  Was scared shiatless when I had to have a hysterectomy!  Thankfully I was out!

On a side note...I had my wisdom teeth removed and got a letter three months later that the oral surgeon had died of AIDS.  He was living a double life.
 
2017-01-11 11:19:55 AM  
OR you can realize that not all dentists really know what they are doing when it comes to Anesthesia.
Most just jam the needle in and flood the area but most will just affect the nerves to your face.
(Someone had to graduate in the lower 50% of the class)

I had a dentist that would get mad because he would inject me 4 or 5 times and the drill still hurt.

I had good dentists back in the 90's and just found one that knows how to administer Anesthesia.  He just uses one, maybe two, injections and the only thing that gets numb is my teeth and guns.  My cheeks still have feeling.
 
2017-01-11 11:21:22 AM  

darthaegis: OR you can realize that not all dentists really know what they are doing when it comes to Anesthesia.
Most just jam the needle in and flood the area but most will just affect the nerves to your face.
(Someone had to graduate in the lower 50% of the class)

I had a dentist that would get mad because he would inject me 4 or 5 times and the drill still hurt.

I had good dentists back in the 90's and just found one that knows how to administer Anesthesia.  He just uses one, maybe two, injections and the only thing that gets numb is my teeth and guns.  My cheeks still have feeling.


~sigh~....  GUMS... the only things that get numb are my teeth and my GUMS...
 
2017-01-11 11:22:05 AM  
As a redhead, with at least five [5] horror stories about local anesthetic and general anesthesia not working at all, I'm glad this is being researched more. No medical professional believed my agony (despite breaking an ER PA's rib while he attempted to stitch my face). Had no idea being resistant was a possibility until I was 16 having my wisdom teeth removed, did not go under after two doses of general anesthesia,  the dentist advised there was research on redhead resistance to anesthetic/anesthesia/pain killers which he had just read about but had yet to witness in office... "Pain is what the patient says it is," I followed that religiously as an EMT due to my experiences.
 
2017-01-11 11:28:46 AM  
CSB: I had a small filling done without. It ended up a little bigger than the dentist thought it would be but I was going to lunch afterward so I toughed it out. I'm really on the fence about doing that again.
 
2017-01-11 11:36:50 AM  

amindtat: Rihlsul: You know what's fun?  Discovering you're immune to local at the beginning of a vasectomy.

/Uh, no we're not going to continue, thank you very much.
//Knock me the fark out.
///Didn't want to be awake for it anyway
////super glad I live where this covered by socialist health care.

Same here. I was good up until he cut the first vas. I felt that. Completely.


Try bilateral orchiectomy.  Luckily, I'm not completely immune; just highly resistant, so I was partially numbed, but still...yeah.  Thank goodness for the power of pre-procedure Xanax.
 
2017-01-11 11:37:05 AM  

OOF: Is it safe?


I understood that reference.
img.fark.net
 
2017-01-11 11:45:59 AM  

Silverstaff: They did a little test.  Nope, not immune.  They were able to do all the dental work I really, really needed with just a local, and I feel a helluva lot better afterwards.  It turns out that small-town dentist was just really incompetent and didn't numb the right part of my mouth, and refused to try again or believe me when I was basically telling him he missed with the first injection.


My dentist is genius at hitting the right spot. Apparently there's a single nerve root that will flat-out kill the lower half of your head.
 
2017-01-11 12:02:32 PM  
A few years ago I heard somewhere that those who are of a Ginger disposition, generally needs 1.5 times the amount of anaesthetic as other, normal, less-blessed humans.

Not long after this I underwent a relatively routine operation where I would be conscious. I remarked about this possibility to the doctor who would be carrying out the procedure, and he replied that he'd never heard of that before. He administered the usual amount of anaestheitic and left it a while to take effect, when he check to see if I was numb, I wasn't, and I really didn't want him to put his scalpel anywhere near my... area if there was a possibility of me feeling it, so he topped me up with another half dose and hey presto, numb plums. If I hadn't told him about what I'd heard, I'd probably still be limping now.

Hail Gingers.
 
2017-01-11 12:03:44 PM  
Whenever a local anesthetic doesn't work I assume it's because I did something wrong while administering it. Now I can just blame it on the patient's crummy genes;).

I received "Novocain" as a kid then learned as a resident that Novocain was a brand name for procaine, the first artificial local anesthetic, which had a duration of 20-30 minutes.  I went back to see my childhood dentist and asked him and he confessed that he, like most dentists, used the term Novocain as kind of a generic name for any local anesthetic.  The drug he usually gave me was bupivacaine, which explains the 2-3 hour duration of numbness and talking like Kramer at the Able Mentally Challenged Adults banquet.

I don't have any strange resistances to anesthetics of any kind but I do fear that I am wired up funny.  If I get a single alveolar block from a dentist the numbness extends across the midline and to both upper and lower teeth.  This explains some of the pain I've had during dental procedures.
 
2017-01-11 12:13:08 PM  
My dentists have always had to blast me with what-everocain to numb me up, and if it took a bit they had to re-blast me (my shattered teeth from an accident were REALLY fun).  Have had minor surgery and in the middle said "you know that local is wearing off real fast now, could you please stop cutting my flesh?".

That mutation SUCKS!
 
2017-01-11 12:15:11 PM  

Burr: Bluemoons: garandman1a: OOF: Is it safe?

Is what safe?...

While I'm not immune to it, I have a very high tolerance for it. Drives my dentist nuts, the amount of novocaine he uses on me.

I have an extremely high tolerance as well. I've had a handful of dentist's tell me that they couldn't by law give me anymore, and I just tell them to go ahead, and I go to my happy place while I feel EVERYTHING.

I got in the habit of digging my fingernail into my thumb while getting drilled, just something to take my mind off of the pain.

/the smell of burning bone still haunts me.


God I hate that smell. I'm familiar with the finger nail thing too. Anything is better than feeling that drill boring through your nerves.  *shudder*
 
2017-01-11 12:32:26 PM  

Bluemoons: Burr: Bluemoons: garandman1a: OOF: Is it safe?

Is what safe?...

While I'm not immune to it, I have a very high tolerance for it. Drives my dentist nuts, the amount of novocaine he uses on me.

I have an extremely high tolerance as well. I've had a handful of dentist's tell me that they couldn't by law give me anymore, and I just tell them to go ahead, and I go to my happy place while I feel EVERYTHING.

I got in the habit of digging my fingernail into my thumb while getting drilled, just something to take my mind off of the pain.

/the smell of burning bone still haunts me.

God I hate that smell. I'm familiar with the finger nail thing too. Anything is better than feeling that drill boring through your nerves.  *shudder*


The smell and tooth dust getting on your face.
 
2017-01-11 12:34:51 PM  

hoyt clagwell: ...  I went back to see my childhood dentist and asked him and he confessed that he, like most dentists, used the term Novocain as kind of a generic name for any local anesthetic.  The drug he usually gave me was bupivacaine, which explains the 2-3 hour duration of numbness ...


bupivacaine/marcaine is common and also very cardiotoxic. you miss a couple shots and you can cause death.

Lidocaine is pretty much foolproof, lasts just as long and you can pump a gallon into someone without hurting them.
 
2017-01-11 12:40:15 PM  
I...I I, have become, comfortably numb......
 
2017-01-11 12:45:57 PM  

HailRobonia: A man goes to the doctor for a prostate exam, but is worried that it will hurt. The doctor says "want me to numb it up for you?" and the man says "yes, please."

Then the doctor sticks his face in the man's butt and goes "num num num"


The one I heard was told to me by a female and it was a gynecologist...
 
2017-01-11 12:54:30 PM  

Bluemoons: God I hate that smell. I'm familiar with the finger nail thing too. Anything is better than feeling that drill boring through your nerves.  *shudder*



I've always had the pleasure of being able to watch my root canals on a tv screen. Interesting stuff. Up thread someone mentioned 5 roots, ditto for me on a back molar. Doc was really worried about losing the file because of the angle. I asked him what does he do if that happens? Answer: Jaw surgery. Whoops...

The last RC I had my doc was burnishing my temp crown to shape it. I involuntarily coughed or whatever and the tool bounced off the tooth, under my tongue and wrapped that skin the tongue is attached to around it. Ow. Real OW. He felt bad for not catching that but he's a great guy and at the time my neighbor. I told if there were any problems I'd unleash a hell storm of termites on his home :) He gave me a discount and sent me on my way.
 
2017-01-11 12:57:58 PM  

Feel_the_velvet: Genetic mutation?  I like to think of it as a "Super Power"

The man who felt noall pain, as it were.


I think they need to stop calling genetic differences "defects"
fta "The analysis revealed a genetic defect..."
 
2017-01-11 01:13:18 PM  
Honestly, the root canal I had about a decade ago was probably one of the least traumatic dental experiences I've had.  I was always told it was going to be awful.  Nope.  Numbed up and away he went.  No pain, though that device they put on your face to keep your mouth open is uncomfortable.

The worst part of the whole thing was going to get the tooth measured and sanded down for the crown.  Had to be injected for that, and the whirly sanding machine made a noise so similar to the drill that it may as well have been a dental filling procedure.  Ugh.

I'm overdue to get a cleaning and afraid of what I'll find.  Pls hurry up with that stuff that regrows teeth, pls pls pls.  For all our technological advances we still use that horrid drill.  Why are dental lasers not a thing?  Make this happen, science people!
 
2017-01-11 01:47:09 PM  

PleaseHamletDon'tHurtEm: Honestly, the root canal I had about a decade ago was probably one of the least traumatic dental experiences I've had.  I was always told it was going to be awful.  Nope.  Numbed up and away he went.  No pain, though that device they put on your face to keep your mouth open is uncomfortable.

The worst part of the whole thing was going to get the tooth measured and sanded down for the crown.  Had to be injected for that, and the whirly sanding machine made a noise so similar to the drill that it may as well have been a dental filling procedure.  Ugh.

I'm overdue to get a cleaning and afraid of what I'll find.  Pls hurry up with that stuff that regrows teeth, pls pls pls.  For all our technological advances we still use that horrid drill.  Why are dental lasers not a thing?  Make this happen, science people!


The root canal, itself, was not bad. It's the got dam bleach they squirt up in there that got to me.
 
2017-01-11 02:38:23 PM  
I actually have facial nerves in odd places. When I needed my wisdom teeth removed, they took xrays that actually were able to show me what had caused ongoing problems with any work I'd ever had done. Apparently, dentists have "normal" places they give shots for locals. If they use those, they actually tag that nerve and a vein that's not in the usual spot either (just barely off), and long story short, I go numb around my eye and temple, not in my mouth.

This has caused ongoing annoyance needless to say as a previous dentist loaded me up on so much local painkillers I'd look like I had a stroke, just to get a freaking filling. I changed dentists to get my wisdom teeth pulled (only the tops), and they started a file that noted alternative needle size, depth and a different poke scheme that significantly narrowed the issue down.

/I was still able to feel my eyeballs in spite of having two wisdom teeth yanked
//it was a whole new world
 
2017-01-11 02:50:46 PM  
FTA: Getting to the root of the problem

OK, which one of you Farkers wrote this?
 
2017-01-11 02:53:57 PM  
Never knew I had so much company in the dental pain department. I had a lot of work done as a kid and developed an immunity to novocain (glad the new stuff is different, it actually works). Had 14 shots when the dentist took out my wisdom teeth on the right side. Only 12 on the left. EVERY trip to the dentist, no mater what for, entails pain. Worst is when they don't believe you. I think I'm wired strangely or something because there's always a live nerve in there somewhere, and I know the dentist is going to hit it. One time that happened, I jerked and the drill bit into my lip instead. The dentist was mortified, but I almost cried with relief because the drill ripping up my lip hurt so much less than hitting the nerve.

The raise your hand if you feel pain is BS. First, severe pain doesn't work that way, your body responds without consulting your brain. Second, the dentist inevitably puts a tray above your hands.

/brown hair
//Father was a red head, so was mom's dad.
///Have the no-tan redhead skin too
 
2017-01-11 03:23:49 PM  
When I was a kid, I had a few baby teeth pulled. Getting the anesthetic shot was sometimes worse than the pulling, especially one in the roof of my mouth for an incisor - my mother heard me yell from the waiting room. I didn't know how numb it was supposed to make the area; the dentist at least once told me, "try not to mistake pressure for pain," or something like that. In the end, the dull pain I felt (especially at the instance the tooth was yanked) was tolerable. Part of my mouth would still be numb for hours after the appointment, though. As an adult, I've had to get a few fillings. On one or two occasions, I started feeling the drill, and a second injection solved the problem.

Apparently the redhead thing has been known for a while. A quick Google search brings up this research paper from 2005:
Increased Sensitivity to Thermal Pain and Reduced Subcutaneous Lidocaine Efficacy in Redheads
 
2017-01-11 04:20:59 PM  
Dentists are usually in a hurry and don't give the local anesthetic enough time to work. They need to wait like 10-15 min after the injection to start drilling.
 
2017-01-11 07:18:53 PM  

bearcats1983: I'm fortunate my only major dental surgery was for my wisdom teeth. The general anesthetic they gave me knocked me out almost immediately. I vaguely remember the assistant counting down from ten and then waking up an hour or so later confused where I was.


My oral surgeon was my aunt's son-in-law. They dosed me with so much liquid valium I was groggy till late in the evening. His assistants were pretty cute & laughing at me when I came around. No telling what the hell I said.
 
2017-01-11 07:31:14 PM  

Mad Mark: bearcats1983: I'm fortunate my only major dental surgery was for my wisdom teeth. The general anesthetic they gave me knocked me out almost immediately. I vaguely remember the assistant counting down from ten and then waking up an hour or so later confused where I was.

My oral surgeon was my aunt's son-in-law. They dosed me with so much liquid valium I was groggy till late in the evening. His assistants were pretty cute & laughing at me when I came around. No telling what the hell I said.


My wife told me I woke up and told her the dental assistants were trying to have sex with me when she left the room. They were cute so maybe it was a drug induced Freudian slip.
 
2017-01-11 07:49:09 PM  

jigger: Dentists are usually in a hurry and don't give the local anesthetic enough time to work. They need to wait like 10-15 min after the injection to start drilling.


When I was a kid, my dentist would give me the shot, then leave me sitting in the chair for so long before he started that it would be wearing off by the time he got to the drilling stage. I developed the bad habits of not breathing and digging my fingernails into my palms out of fear of the pain. The last time I saw him I nearly fainted, and had to hold onto the wall as I was walking out of the exam room. He looked at me as I was leaving and said, "You really ought to see someone about that." I was 11 years old!

For years after, I didn't go to a dentist. Finally got coaxed into seeing a guy at the dental office where a friend worked. He was really marvelous - very patient, willing to take a break whenever the anxiety felt overwhelming. I still don't like the dentist, but I have learned to keep focusing on breathing and consciously unclenching my fists. Believe it or not, it helps that my current dentist has beautiful landscape photos on the ceiling to look at while she works - I can fantasize about being somewhere else.

VogonPoet: OOF: Is it safe?

I understood that reference.
[img.fark.net image 551x308]


I see at least one other person here got it.
/nothing obscure on Fark
 
2017-01-11 08:15:26 PM  
For many years I had the same problem with locals. Then suddenly something changes in my body and the dentist only had to give me about 50% more than usual. I have the same issue with opioid pain medication. Even well before I was on it regularly for my back so I had no built up tolerance. It would take me about twice as much for it to have any effect. That was really fun when I went in for pancreatitis. They loaded me up with as much iv morphine as they were allowed to with no effect. I then had to wait about 4-6 hours in some of the worst pain ever before they tried dilaudid. 4mg of that did the trick pretty well. And no, I have never been an illegal opiate drug user...
 
2017-01-11 09:56:22 PM  

Rihlsul: You know what's fun?  Discovering you're immune to local at the beginning of a vasectomy.

/Uh, no we're not going to continue, thank you very much.
//Knock me the fark out.
///Didn't want to be awake for it anyway
////super glad I live where this covered by socialist health care.


Been there - Done that. Dentists & MDs usually don't believe me until they see it for themselves.

One Doc freaked out when I flinched as she started cutting and called the nurse over for more local. I said, "Just finish already."

Quickest snip procedure she's probably ever done.
 
2017-01-11 10:59:14 PM  
I'm not redheaded but I apparently have a mutation that causes rapid metabolism of all local anesthetics. I've had them use the Articaine and it still metabolizes quickly. I've also had issues with not being able to be affected by Valium. It took them six carpuject syringes of Valium to put me under when they were setting my broken arm in high school, which I'm told is still a record by my friend who now works in that ER.

As a result of this and having a dentist who refused to believe that my mouth wasn't numb... Why would I lie??? I actually hit my dentist to get him to stop drilling into my front incisor during a root canal. I still feel bad about that to this day.

My current dentist, however is awesome, she has me come in for the first appointment of the day, and numbs the hell out of my mouth and then keeps reapplying through the procedure.
 
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