Nothing will be more appreciated by your patients than your skill in “giving a good shot”. You know the pharmacology, anatomy, equipment and basic technique but the right words (and a simple little tip) will make all the difference in the stress levels of you and your patient.

The secret to getting that “good shot” reputation is to keep talking and keep moving! Follow every clinical aspect of the techniques taught to you but tell the patient I am going to apply a little numbing gel now so that the anesthetic will be comfortable. Use topical (and not a big gob that runs down their throat) and give it a full minute or more to penetrate! Chat the patient up a bit during the whole process. When you go to give the actual injection, keep the syringe as discreetly out of sight as you can.


Most everybody knows about the old “jiggle” of the lip routine in an upper injection but did you know it works for the lower too? Modern injection techniques call for careful finger and needle positioning but there is always a finger or two that can massage the posterior border of the ramus during entry and deposition of the anesthetic. Always using the properly taught techniques, add very small massaging movements with one of the finger rests of your free hand on the outside facial skin just before needle entry. It distracts the patient nicely and many will happily exclaim “Is that it!?”


For infiltrations, I like to stretch the topically numb mucosa a little tight, then place the bevel of the needle lightly on top of the tissue and then I start injecting a minute amount of anesthetic as I make a small sliding motion forward. This usually raises a tiny bubble in the tissue (you are now home free) before I proceed deeper to deposit the rest of the solution.

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