In Other News, “Preemptive Ibuprofen” is the Name of My Next Band

Back from the dentist, and the owner of three new fillings. I forgot I had more than one cavity. My dentist, however, did not. The novocaine is slowly wearing off, and I’ve taken preemptive ibuprofen to ward off the inevitable general pain that comes from a grown man and his dental assistant rooting around in one’s mouth for an hours plus change. My dentist, well aware of what is either my somewhat high resistance to novocaine or my low resistance to pain brought on by high speed drills on my teeth, shoots me up pretty heavily with the stuff. For this he shall be rewarded in Heaven, although the flip side is that I spend a few hours afterward feeling like half my head is an insensate lump of hamburger. But given that or drill pain, I’ll go for the hamburger.

I’ve also just self-administered some ice cream. Because ice cream helps everything.

36 Comments on “In Other News, “Preemptive Ibuprofen” is the Name of My Next Band”

  1. Tylenol #3 with Codeine iz where it’z at, man. Ibuprofen’s for headaches, not teeth drill pain.

  2. John, I have the same problem with novocaine, but my dentists thinks I have an allergy to it. He usually has to sit around waiting for something on the order of 30 minutes for all massive amounts of novocaine to kick in before he can get to work, and even then I’m practically tearing the arms off the chair.

    And my wife has a similar saying about ice cream – “Ice cream makes everything better!”

  3. I’d like to find Voltaire’s quote in the original French to figure out if he meant ice-cream or sorbet. None of the sites on the web that quote him seem to have the source. (fishy)

  4. My own dentist says that not only are a lot more people resistant to novocaine than believed but also over time you can build up tolerance to it from frequent use as you body learns how to remove it more efficiently.

  5. I hope it’s not something crunchy like Rocky Road. Go for the creamy stuff after a visit to the dentist. Good old vanille is good. And you can’t go wrong with chocolate . . . ever.

  6. Heres one for you…
    They generally do not use novocaine in Europe or at least in Austria. My last 2 dental trips were to an Austrian dentist with one trip being a root canal. And guess what?? No novocaine. And it didn’t even hurt that much!!! As a matter of fact I have been to the dentist since I have been back in the US and had another root canal finished. With novocaine injections the experience was extremely painless…UNTIL the novacaine wore off. Which lead me to believe that the dentist *COMPELTELY* has his way with my mouth while I was feeling no pain.
    The other difference…Going to the dentist in Austria=Free.
    Going to the dentist in the US=700.00.

  7. I used to be the same way re: the pain, but over the years have found that my recovery time is significantly less with reduced novocaine. I generally ask for light anaesthesia, and have found that the pain isn’t that bad. It is more than made up for by the fact that the anaesthetic comes out quickly and I don’t feel like a bag of overcooked peas for the better part of a day.

    I have even had small fillings done sans chemical. The drilling only lasts a few minutes.

    All of this, of course, goes out the window if we are talking about a root canal. Drug me to the fingertips for one o’ those babies.

  8. Oh, and the prophylactic iboprofen is a good idea. Ibuprofen has some particular efficacy with tooth pain.

  9. Alas, I’m in the stage where it’s crowns instead of fillings. Luckily my dentist not only novicanes me, but knows to give me alot of kleenix in my hands even when I’m just getting a cleaning. And yes, vicodene is the drug of choise.

    To divert yourself, plan on taking your daughter to “Nim’s Island”, entertaining with a great 11 year old girl as the hero.

  10. What worked for me last time, at my dentist’s suggestion, was to alternate ibuprofen and acetaminophen. That way I could take a dose of acetaminophen BEFORE the ibuprofen wore off and vice versa. Apparently they’re chemically different enough to overlap without fear of overdosing.

  11. My elder brother refuses to have any anaesthetic for his teeth and, what is more, has as his dentist an old school friend who would not get within a mile of my teeth, were he armed with automatic weapons and a cattle prod.

    Its the smell of the drilled tooth that gets to me, that and the need to constantly remind myself to breathe . . .

    Bravery rewarded.

  12. Properly using prophylactic in any conversation is a winner as it causes the most wonderful twitches and flinches in those who are only familiar with the use associated with family planning.

  13. When I had three wisdom teeth removed, the doctor prescribed Oxycodin for when the novocaine wore off. I got the pill and took it on the way home… and it didn’t work! Thankfully, the pain faded a lot after the first night….

  14. I had a dentist appointment today too, but mine was merely to repair a broken buccal cusp and to meet my new dentist (charming, competent fellow, I would recommend him to anyone in Vancouver, BC).

    I’ve never really understood the general antipathy for dental work. Between my cavity-prone teeth and extensive orthodontics, I must have become inured to people sticking bizarre torture devices into my mouth. It probably helps that pain medication works just swimmingly for me.

    I’m just happy that the small frozen patch of my face is thawing, so I don’t have to spend the rest of the day speaking with a Jean Chretien sneer.

  15. The ‘caine drug family don’t work well on me. Never have, in fact. Does caffeine work for you? (Does nothing for me, or at worst puts me to sleep.) If caffeine doesn’t work for either, you could have a specific genetic mutation. I don’t know the scientific term, but a friend who is studying pharmacology mentioned the genetic connection as a possible explanation for my reaction to ‘caine drugs and caffeine.

  16. My 13-year-old daughter had a root canal on a dying tooth a few weeks ago; I gave her every opportunity to stay home and huddle in bed/on the couch with her choice of books/electronic media, and the dear child insisted on going to school immediately afterward. She had light novocaine; she could speak pretty clearly immediately after the procedure. She said it never really hurt, although for a solid 24 hours afterward we made sure she had regular doses of aspirin, per doctor’s orders. Bonus: rather than 2-3 trips to get the job done, they did it all in one visit, which surprised the dental staff. My daughter: Lion of the East.

    I will not shame myself by recounting my wisdom tooth experience.

  17. I don’t mind dental work too much, although the two times I’ve had (small) cavities the buzzing and vibrating feeling was a bit disturbing. It was more annoying that my dentist still felt the need to try to carry on a conversation when he was shoving metal things in my mouth.

    My wisdom teeth, now – that was great. I have no idea what the guy gave to me, but I don’t remember a thing about that day, and was flying pretty high for the next couple.

  18. A lot of dentists will recommend the preemptive ibuprofen because it’s an anti-inflammatory and if you can keep the worked-on area from swelling up, you reduce the healing time AND the painful time.

    And Kelly @ #9: Sedation dentistry is what my husband has to do, since he’s pretty much immune to all of the pain drugs (they’ve rotated through them) and also has a related panic reaction to people working on his mouth that basically means that knocking him out if the only way to get his mouth relaxed enough for them to work properly. (He can take cleanings with no problem, at least, and hopefully won’t have to be knocked out for a very long time since we did the major work.)

  19. John – a strange question, but do you have any red-headed close relatives? There is some highly disputed research claiming that anesthesia doesn’t work as well in general on gingers, and even those who may be ‘carriers.’

    My dentist on a root canal a couple of years ago didn’t believe me when I said that I still felt pain during the procedure, until his assistant brought to his attention that I had bent the armrest of the chair to a strange angle.

    The post-procedure Vicoden made me sick to my stomach. Whiskey is still my pain-killer of choice.

  20. Buck:

    Not really. I think I may just be over-sensitive/ever-so-slightly phobic.

  21. Yeah, John. When I go to the dentist they need to numb me up just for a cleaning.

    But I’ve learned a lot about the numbing process. For instance, I can tell them if they’ve hit the nerve cluster in my cheek and almost exactly how long it will take before my face is sitting in my lap depending on how much of the ‘caine they gave me.

  22. For short procedures, it might be worth asking about using carbocaine, which usually wears off more quickly than lidocaine and novocaine do. So much more quickly that it can wear off before the end of a root canal procedure…

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