Dental Freezing:

A Warning about Dental Freezing

By Dr. Ben Kim
DrBenKim.com

When I was in elementary school, I remember spending several hours following an appointment with the dentist chewing away at the inner portions of my mouth, thinking that it was neat that I could gnaw away without feeling any pain.

It just didn't occur to me that the local anesthetic that I had received made it impossible for me to feel pain while I was doing severe damage to the tissues that lined my inner mouth.

Once the freezing wore off, I was in excruciating pain. So much so that my mom took me to the dentist again. I was told by the dental assistant that I had cut up almost all of the tissues that lined both sides of my inner mouth. I ended up suffering for about a week before my mouth fully healed itself.

Over the years, I've realized that my bad experience with dental freezing is quite common among children. Although I'm sure that all dentists intend to warn their patients not to chew on the structures in their inner mouths while they are still numb from anesthesia, perhaps there are times when a dentist is so busy that she or he forgets to mention this. And perhaps there are times when children don't fully understand this warning.

In any case, if you or your children ever require dental care that involves freezing, please don't hurt yourself like I did before the anesthesia wears off. Please share this message with every parent you know.

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