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Local Anesthesia Takes the Pain Out of Most Dental Work

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Long ago dental work could be painful and stressful—often for both patient and practitioner. Thankfully, that time is long past: today, most procedures are painless in large part due to local anesthesia.

Local anesthetics are numbing substances applied to specific areas of the body like the teeth and gums to temporarily block pain during a procedure. And because they only affect a localized area of the body, you remain conscious and alert throughout the procedure.

To achieve the level of numbing necessary for dental work, we often need to deaden the gums using a needle to deliver the anesthetic. But then this poses a secondary pain concern—the needle stick itself.

Again, topical anesthesia comes to the rescue in the form of a swab, patch or spray applying an anesthetic directly to the top layer of the gums at the injection site. This numbs the area and prevents you from feeling the needle stick. It's highly probable, therefore, that from start to finish you won't feel any discomfort during your dental work except perhaps for a little pressure.

Local anesthesia truly is a game changer for dental care—and not just for the patient. A dentist who's concerned about their patient's comfort level may work hurriedly to complete a procedure. But if their patient is relaxed, the dentist can work calmly and methodically. The result is better, more focused care.

For all its improvements in the patient experience, though, there has been one consistent complaint—the numbness that often lingers for a while after the procedure is over. But there have been advances in recent years that have helped reduce this irritation: new anesthetic agents (even some that can reverse the anesthetic effect) and fine-tuned dosages can help keep residual numbing to a minimum.

Not all procedures like routine teeth cleanings or enamel shaping require anesthesia. But when it's appropriate, local anesthesia can make your next dental visit much more pleasant.

If you would like more information on how anesthesia benefits your dental care, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Local Anesthesia for Pain-Free Dentistry.”

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Patient Reviews

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    Dr Shukla and staff provide excellent dental and dental hygiene services. Have been coming to this office for over 25 years. Recommended to all."
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  • "Everyone in Dr. Sukla’s office received me with cheerful and friendly attitude. Though it was my first visit, I felt very much at home with her great staff. Dr. Sukla had also talked to me with politeness and did a very good job in attending to my dental requirements."
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  • "Dr Shukla, Donna, Diane, Joy and Priscilla are terrific. Professional, knowledgeable, thorough, clean, on time, and very friendly. I have to keep reminding myself that I’m actually at the dentist. There can’t be a better dental office anywhere."
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    Very grateful a appointment was arranged immediately as I was in pain, even though I was a new patient. The office and appointment rooms clean and comfortable. I was very impressed with the kind professional attention given and how Quickly my problem was addressed. Great experience! I have been searching for a good dentist in the area and am happy to have found one."
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    Dr Shukla and staff are very friendly and personable. I’ve had several tooth emergencies and Dr Shukla and staff have helped me out even on their off days. Dr Shukla is very focused on patient satisfaction. I would definitely recommend Great Smiles to anyone in need of a dentist."
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  • "Always high quality care.
    I have gone to this practice for years and have come to know the staff well. They are all great! Dr. Shukla provides excellent examinations and kind, careful treatment. Donna is a wonderful hygienist; not only does she do expert teeth cleaning, but she answers all questions thoroughly. She clearly takes pride in her profession and is up to date on current standards of care. I highly recommend 'Great Smiles.'"
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    Dr. Shukla & her staff are always friendly, helpful, calming & efficient, making dental visits easy & stress-free."
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  • "Excellent dentist and staff
    Our family has been going to this office for at least 25 years. The staff there are more than wonderful. When Dr. Swingle retired we were hoping the new dentist would be good so we could continue our relationships there. Well, we are delighted with Dr. Shukla’s care! Always thorough, gentle, very competent and just personally lovely. Office immaculately clean too. Some nice added amenities like beverages and TVs which frankly are pleasant but not necessary when the professional services (from cleanings to crowns) are first rate!"
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  • "Crown prep.
    Dr . Shukla is an excellent doctor . Very caring and gentle during the procedure for my crown ....dental hygienist Priscilla was very good and easy to work with ."
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  • "I just went for my 6 month cleaning and checkup . It’s always a great experience ( the best you could have at a dentist!!) the whole office staff are so friendly and yet professional. Dr. Shukla is very thorough, gentle , professional and nice !! Couldn’t be better :) I highly recommend them!"
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  • "Because you should want to go to your dentist
    Another good visit to Dr Shukla at Great Smiles. Always a pleasure checking in to the office and the waiting room is now equipped with cold drinks and Nespresso coffee maker, although I actually didn't have to wait. Came in for teeth cleaning with Donna, followed by a dental exam. Dr Shukla is thorough, gentle and caring, clearly taking a long-term view toward maintaining heathy teeth and gums. Many thanks, see you in six months!"
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