Suicide is Painless

But dentistry isn’t. It’s my perception that going to the dentist is nearly as painful and uncomfortable now as it was when I was a kid fifteen years ago.

Does anyone know how far dental technology has advanced since, say, 1985? Are there any recent advances which might make the whole experience more painless in the future?

–Gadarene, sitting here with a mouth full of Novocaine and a sore jaw from the needle

It is my experience that dentistry is much less painfull than when I was a kid 15 -20 years ago.

I know there has been a lot of advances in many dental fields, from orthodontic to implant technology to pain reduction to crowns/bridges/caps etc. My GF just had near cutting edge implant surgery done (it may yet be written up as a medical paper, because the angle of the implant post was quite large)
However, my fine and trustworthly dentist still uses the same equipment he used on me as a kid during the late 70’s.
Anyway, here’s a start:

I remember my dentist gave me 17 shots of anesthetic into my mouth once. He also had to move them around to cause more pain. Result, anesthetic causes a immense amount of phantom pain and I would have rather not used it.

One thing I’ve been thankful for these past years is the introduction of anesthetic gel, so that I don’t even have to feel the novocaine needle going in. (At least I think it’s relatively new, or else my dentist just takes a while to come around)

Also, Dewt’s recent Pit thread has me noticing all the unclever, vague, and misleading thread titles out there. This one certainly qualifies on all three counts.

How so? Are you unaware of the song I’m referencing? Here ya go.

Well, I’m aware of the song, but thought this would be a thread about it, or perhaps about methods of suicide which are easy to do.

It’s like having a thread that says “the sun is yellow” and inside, “but the sky isn’t. Why is that?”.

The worst offenders are the sexual inuendo ones. Everyone knows by now that a thread that refers to a “pussy” is going to be about their cat’s shedding problem or something.

But I suspect all this is covered in the pit thread. Checking it out now…

Sorry to hear you’re in pain, Gadarene!

One point that’s perhaps worth considering: focus on the dentist, not the technology. I had one dentist for years, lots of pain and hassle, I endured it because I didn’t know there was any improvement to be demanded. Dentist died, new dentist took over. Same practice, same room, same equipment. HUGE improvment. Much more acceptable experience, far less pain or hassle, much better attitude of care. Same technology, much better person using it.

I don’t want to fuel any gender wars here, but FWIW the first was male, the second female.

I don’t want this to sound like a criticism, but in my own personal experience, one’s own dental hygiene (and boy, isn’t that a word that looks misspelled) has a lot to do with it. My wife and I go to the same dentist. I brush thoroughly twice a day, floss, rinse, yada yada. She doesn’t. My last exam/cleaning was painless and quick. Hers was a hideous ordeal. I don’t want to assume anything about your own habits; this is just my own experience.

Was anyone else expecting to see some MASH-related question?

My maternal grandmother had an interesting philosophy regarding dentists.

In most cases she was extremely loyal to service providers. She (and Gramps) bought every car in their married life of 60 years from the same dealer (more than 25 vehicles). Only ever went to three doctors in her life (until near the end), Dr Moysie, his son and his grandson.

However, and this is where this ramble links back to the OP, Nan would always go to the most recently trained dentist in the district. As soon a new dentist hung out his shingle, she’d change (and take the whole family with her). Reckoned that older dentists used older techniques and equipment and were more likely to extract when a filling was viable etc.

… and yes iampunha, I thought this going to be a MASH thread!

You fancy yourself pretty clever, dontcha? Sorry to burst your bubble, but that is a pretty elementary pop culture reference; so “yes,” I am aware. That is why I called your title “misleading,” because it did not reference either MASH or its theme song. See iampunha’s above post for a concurring opinion.

hey, peepthis, shove this. Don’t get a self-satisfied stick up your ass just because somebody opened a pit thread. Evangelization is not necessary.

Sure, thread titles that don’t directly relate to the topic at hand can be annoying, but they can also be muy entertaining. This is an example of the latter. It has a certain artful elegance to it.

so please bug off, or shut your pole hole.


Methinks ol’ jb needs some more fiber in his diet. I don’t care enough to take this to the Pit, so will leave it at this: I was simply stating that I found it interesting that dewt’s observation was so keen – especially in light of the moderators’ recent requests for conserving bandwidth – and provided a link to it. And that was only an afterthought after replying to the OP. Obviously, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, I’m not on any kind of campaign here and this is the only place you’ll probably see me broach this topic. I actually enjoy entertaining thread titles, if they’re not misleading or insipid. Other posters agreed, but I don’t see you getting huffy at iampunha or woolly. Double standard much?

Artful elegance? Please. This seems to be an area in which you lack expertise. When I’m done with this “stick in my ass” you’re more than welcome to use it as your lollipop.

Re-reading my second post, I see that I likely misinterpreted Gadarene’s reply as condescending; if that is the case, I apologize to Gadarene for my rude tone (although I stick by the content regarding misleading titles). As for jb, don’t hold your breath.

Cervaise, I offer you my sincere condolences on your wife’s dental hygiene :slight_smile:

Gadarene, I agree with some of the other posters, you need a new dentist. From dentist discussions with some of my friends it seems the younger dentists are much less painful to go to. The difference in age isn’t that large, we went to a dentist in his late 50’s who was horrible, and now we go to one in his early/mid 40’s who is absolutely wonderful.

Damn. This thread had potential, too.

Take it down a notch, everyone. And please keep off topic stuff in the appropriate forum.

Didn’t mean to sound condescending, peepthis, but you did call my thread title “unclever.” Given that the “Painless” referred to in the title of MAS*H’s theme is, in fact, a dentist, the title came to mind when posting a thread about painful dentistry.

I’m sorry if I’ve offended your aesthetic sensibilities and cast aspersions on your pop culture hipness. :slight_smile:


You’re certainly right, in that I’ve returned to the dentist in the last few months after having been lax for a while. I do assiduously brush and floss twice a day–now with a sonic toothbrush, even–but my gums were pretty sensitive when I first started going again.

To me, it’s not so much the pokin’ and proddin’ itself as it is the Novocaine shots–and there, as y’all have pointed out, I might certainly just need a new dentist. My jore’s still saw…err, my jaw’s still sore this morning. Making it worse, of course, is that I’m one of those people on whom anesthetic wears off real, real quickly. I got a cavity filled a couple of months ago, and they had to re-inject me mid-procedure because I started to regain sensation. The dental hygienist yesterday was frankly baffled by how long the Novocaine took to kick in. According to him, though, we still have no real idea about how Novocaine and other numbing agents work the way they do, so I guess an alternative means of dental anesthetic isn’t necessarily on the horizon.