Single-tooth anesthesia reduces post-visit numbness - FOX 13 News

Single-tooth anesthesia reduces post-visit numbness

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

A trip to the dentist is enough to make almost anyone cringe, and the same can be said about the hours after getting the work done.

"Your mouth is sagging, your eye is sagging, you're trying to eat a meal, and your tongue is sore. It is annoying," explains Chris Cameli.

Chris is scheduled to get a filling, but expects this visit to be hassle free. His dentist, Dr. Jay Nelson, is using new technology to numb a single tooth, instead of a section of the jaw.

It's possible thanks to a computerized system called Single Tooth Anesthesia, or STA. A specialized, smaller Novocain needle slowly pushes nerve numbing medicine into the gum.

"As the anesthetic is being expressed, the needle is being placed further, so the area is numb before it goes in. So it squirts a little before the needle placement," explains Dr. Nelson. "Since this is given very slowly, you can give more around the single tooth, and you can get the single tooth numb."

STA's results are felt immediately. From numbing to drilling and filling, Chris's appointment takes about ten minutes. The most significant difference is how quickly STA's numbing effects subside after the appointment.

"It varies by the person, but it's usually within a half hour to 45 minutes. But with a typical injection, it can be two to three hours and up," Nelsons said.

Chris was able to take our crew out to the golf course immediately following the procedure.

"My face isn't dragging, I feel like I could eat something right now, it's not going to be a problem for me," notes Chris. "You can't even tell that it was numb."

Some practices charge an additional fee for using the system. The average cost is $30 per injection; most insurance policies cover the cost.




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