Anesthesia by a dental hygienist

Treatment with the dental hygienist can sometimes be very painful. This is different for everyone and has to do with the condition of the teeth and gums and their own experience of pain. If it becomes too painful, an anesthetic may be requested. But when do you have an anesthetic administered, which anesthetic do you choose and is paracetamol also a sufficient painkiller?

Why go to the dental hygienist?

The dental hygienist used to not exist at all. Nowadays he takes over the duties of the dentist. Dentists have more and more work to do and there is little time left for a major cleaning. This gave rise to the profession of dental hygienist, taking over the cleaning tasks of the dentist. The dentist still cleans, but often does this in a short treatment. The dental hygienist will easily spend 45 minutes for a treatment, and even longer if necessary.
If you suffer from bleeding gums, swollen and red gums, sensitive tooth necks, sliding teeth or loose teeth, it is advisable to have your teeth properly cleaned by a dental hygienist. However, this cleaning is not a license not to clean properly yourself from now on. A referral from the dentist is not required for treatment. However, a dentist will often refer a patient with tartar.

Why does it hurt?

Bleeding, red and swollen gums are inflamed gums. Tartar easily adheres to the gum line and is packed with bacteria. These bacteria like to crawl under the gum line. There they cause a pocket: an opening between the gum and tooth. The attachment of the gums therefore becomes weaker. If this continues too far, inflammation will develop that will become increasingly deeper and eventually the tooth or molar will be lost. The jaw bone is broken off and the jaw can shrink. Inflamed gums hurt because they are irritated. When the dental hygienist has to clean the gum line, this will be extra painful.
Another reason for pain during treatment is an exposed tooth neck. Because the gums are inflamed, they recede. The neck of the tooth becomes increasingly exposed. The more it is exposed, the less protection. After all, enamel is only on the top part of the tooth. When touched, the exposed tooth neck will respond with a strong pain stimulus. Sometimes it seems as if the nerve is being pushed directly. Exposed tooth necks can often be recognized by pain when eating or drinking cold or hot drinks or food.

Take paracetamol

Treatments that do not cause much pain can often be tolerated with the help of paracetamol. Take two paracetamols one hour before the treatment. Do this on time, otherwise they won’t work. Agree with the dental hygienist that you will raise your hand if it really hurts too much. He or she will then stop for a moment. Don’t raise your hand for every thing, you often start waiting for pain in advance. This makes you think you feel something much more often. Fear and tension also cause more pain. Try to relax and think about something fun such as the (upcoming) holiday, a nice day trip, or reward yourself with something fun in advance and think about it. After treatment, the gums may bleed and be irritated. Feel free to take another paracetamol.

Anesthesia: only the elements that hurt

Not everything always hurts. Sometimes you have exposed tooth necks on certain molars or teeth while the rest looks fine, or your gums only hurt in certain places. In these cases, the dental hygienist can only anesthetize these elements (teeth or molars). The adjacent elements also become numb. This method of anesthesia has the advantage that it is often not necessary to perform the treatment in two sessions, because the tongue does not become numb.

Numb everything

If you have pain everywhere that is unbearable, everything can be anesthetized. Unfortunately, the treatment must be done in two sessions. It is irresponsible to numb the entire mouth at once, because you will no longer be able to swallow, you will not be able to feel your tongue and breathing will become more difficult. The dental hygienist will first anesthetize and treat one side, for example the upper left and lower left. After a few days you come back for the right above and below. Anesthesia costs on average between 13 and 18 euros and is reimbursed depending on the insurance.

Laughing gas, anesthesia

Not every dental hygienist works with laughing gas, please inquire about this. Laughing gas ensures that you relax and ensures that stimuli do not arrive directly in the brain. After treatment with nitrous oxide you are not allowed to drive a car for a while. Under anesthesia is only done in a hospital or clinic. A regular dental hygienist is not allowed to administer anesthesia. The scabs for this can be quite significant and are often not reimbursed. Treatment with laughing gas or anesthesia is not necessary because of pain, but is often used in very anxious patients.

Scroll to Top