The lower-back molars are the most difficult teeth to numb. Due to the thick bone surrounding the teeth, conventional local anesthesia does not work. Therefore, a dental block injection is often used to numb them. This injection requires an extra-long needle that is passed through the inside of the cheek into the muscle of the face, then down to the bone of the inner jaw. This is one of the most difficult injections to get right, and often the teeth are not adequately numb, thus requiring multiple injections. Sometimes patients experience an electric shock when the needle is passed near or poked into the nerve. When this experience happens, there is a risk of nerve damage, which may result in a permanent numbness of the lips or tongue.
Fortunately, Dr. Shvartsman has a special instrument!
The intraligamentary anesthesia technique bypasses the dental block injection by numbing only the tooth being worked on, eliminating the usual face and tongue numbness that causes hours of unpleasantness. This technique – obscure to most, yet utilized by Dr. Shvartsman for years – administers a small amount of anesthetic directly into the space between the tooth and gums, called the periodontal ligament space, rather than through the gum tissue. Dr. Shvartsman begins with a needle-free Syrijet agent to numb the area surrounding the tooth, then follows with the intraligamentary device. Because this technique is so direct, only the specific nerve for that tooth is anesthetized. The numbing process is so smooth, the patient rarely feels the injection.
The advantages include:
- It is immediately effective, so there is no waiting for numbness.
- It is excellent for patients who have difficulty getting numb.
- It uses only a fraction of the anesthetic drug.
- It can eliminate the need for uncomfortable injections in the roof of the mouth.
- Both sides of the tooth can be treated at once, so patients do not need additional visits.