How Modern Dentists are Administering Painless Injections

Local anesthesia is used to eliminate pain during dental procedures; ironically, the administration of local anesthesia is what many patients dread the most. The good news is that administering painless injections is not only possible but fairly simple to do with the right tools and the desire to make the patient's experience as comfortable as possible.


The process of delivering local anesthesia requires a shot to the gums. Of course, if your gums are stuck with a needle and fluid is forced into your gum tissue, it can be very painful. In order to understand how we administer painless injections here at Metro Dental; you must first understand the gate control theory of pain. This theory asserts that a non-painful input closes the nerve "gates" to painful inputs, which prevents the pain sensation from traveling from the gums to the central nervous system.


Think of it this way, if you put one red car (painful input) in the middle of a thousand white cars (non-painful input), the red car may never get to its location due to the traffic jam. In theory it is simple, but your doctor has to have the right tools and desire to administer painless injections




Leveraging our understanding of the gate control theory of pain, we have developed a step-by-step process to administering painless injections.

  1. A topical anesthetic gel specially formulated by the local pharmacy, is topically applied to the injection site on the gums. This numbs the surface layer of the gum tissue.

  2. Nitrous Oxide gas is administered via inhalation. This significantly reduces the patient's anxiety and reduces the sensitivity of the pain receptors

  3. 10 minutes after administering both topical anesthesia and nitrous oxide gas concurrently, we use a tool called the Dental Vibe to deliver targeted vibrations to the gums the cheek. This serves as the non-painful input, which prevents the painful input from traveling to the brain.

  4. Finally, the smallest needle on the market is used to administer the anesthesia. A small needle disrupts less tissue due its size and the fact the fluid can be delivered very slowly, thereby minimizing or eliminating tissue damage.



Here at Metro Dental, we could not be more thrilled when our patients make comments like "I am glad you guys did not use a needle" after they got 4 shots and did not even realize it because it was painless. Patients always ask (after the doctor is done administering the injection), "what was all that vibration for?" All, they feel is vibration no pain, success!!



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