Do You Have To Use Pain Injections For A Tooth Drilling?

If you're nervous about injections or have another reason for not wanting Novocaine or another injected pain reliever during a tooth drilling, you have options. You don't have to accept any kind of treatment that you don't want, which includes getting Novocaine. Here's what you need to know about skipping Novocaine when having a tooth drilled.

Where The Nerves Are

Novocaine is used to numb pain, and pain is at its most basic level, an electrical signal sent by nerves to your brain. When tissue that nerves are in are impacted by something like tooth drilling, they send that pain signal. However, nerves aren't in every part of your tooth.

Since teeth are used to grind and bite through hard food, it would be really painful if you had nerves everywhere in your tooth. As a result, teeth are designed so that nerves are only located in the pulp of the tooth, near the core. If the damage doesn't affect the pulp of the tooth, no pain should occur.

What this means is that it is possible to have your teeth drilled without Novocaine, providing that the cavity is shallow and near the surface. In this case, only light drilling is performed anyway, and then a filling is applied.

Precautions When Not Using Novocaine

If you're worried about feeling pain during the drilling without Novocaine, you can get help from a dentist with that.

First off, you're still able to use topical pain relievers. These can help to provide a low level of numbness to your teeth and gums, which will protect them from some discomfort. In addition, your dentist will take X-rays before performing the drilling. This will allow them to determine if your cavity is shallow enough to undergo drilling without pain relievers, and will provide them with a roadmap of the nerves in your teeth.


If your tooth's cavity goes too deeply, you will need pain relievers in order to get through the drilling process. In these cases, if the problem is simply the injection, you can try other methods of pain relief.

For example, your dentist can use nitrous oxide to provide you with anxiety and pain relief without using a needle. This gas is administered through a mask that you breathe through, and the effects are immediate.

Getting a cavity cared for without Novocaine is entirely possible, no matter what your reason is for not wanting it. Talk to dental clinics like Milner Dentistry and make a plan for treatment that only includes pain relief methods that you're okay with.