So there I was, sitting in the chair at my dentist’s, waiting for her to come start work on my new crown and dreading that numb-all-the-way-to-my-ear feeling that I’d be stuck with for the whole afternoon. The assistant took the first impression, and then Jill, my dentist, popped in and said, “Hey, is it okay with you if I try my new toy that I got a few months ago? It’s kind of like a GPS for anesthesia, so only the one tooth we’re working on is numbed.”
This sounds pretty cool, I think, so I consent.
The toy is called STA—Single Tooth Anesthesia. It tells the dentist when she’s got the needle positioned in the right place and when enough of the drug has been delivered—literally: the machine talks, though it has gauges, too.
But does it really work?
It sure did for me. I felt a little numbness along the edge of my tongue while Jill was drilling, but that was gone by the time the assistant finished putting in the temporary crown. By the time I left the office, I could only tell I’d had any dental work done by opening my mouth and looking at the temporary.
I can live with that.