Dental Tips Blog


3 Ways Dental Sedation Could Improve Your Treatment Experience

Nowadays, it’s only been getting easier to access sedation in the dental setting. If you’ve always concluded that it’s not right for you, then you could be missing out on some key benefits.

  1. Get More Done in One Appointment

Conscious sedation is available in many dental offices, as oral or intravenous medication can help you “sleep” through your treatment. This is ideal in cases where you need to have an extensive procedure done such as the extraction of all four wisdom teeth.

You may need a lot of dental work but have few free days that you can schedule treatment on.  Sleep sedation can make it much easier and more comfortable to get all of your dental work completed at one time.

  1. Ease the Anxiety from Your System

Maybe you don’t feel that you have a true dental phobia. Even still, dentistry can make some people feel stressed. It’s hard work to sit with your mouth open for a long time. All the noises from machines and vacuums can be distracting, bright lights irritating, and strange medical smells nauseating.

This kind of anxiety can be draining to your system, so even a mild sedative can relieve you of unnecessary anxiety.

  1. Face Down Dental Fears

How about that famous fear of needles that many people have?

You might need a numbing shot to help the dentist do the job right, but you can avoid the scary pinch by having a dose of sedative medication beforehand. A safe prescription will help you make those tough parts of the appointment easier to bear.

Ask your dentist about the sedation options available near you

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


What Does Dental Sedation Feel Like?

If you’ve never experienced the feeling of being unconscious, then the idea of having dental sedation can seem a little scary.

Different Kinds of Sedation

Most dental sedation techniques keep you conscious. They aren’t all exactly alike but they all mainly work by relieving anxiety and making you forget the procedure.

Three sedation strategies commonly used in dentistry include:

  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Oral medication
  • IV-administered medication

What to Expect

An IV-administered sedative is the only kind that can make you truly unconscious. Even the level of anesthesia will be carefully monitored by the dental team. They can give you just what is necessary to treat you successfully. This method is the one that lets you really sleep through treatment.

Oral conscious sedation medications come in pill or syrup form. You might take them on arrival at the dental office, or one or two hours before arriving. These medications will make you feel very relaxed and care-free. You won’t be bothered by needles, drills, or anything else. You probably won’t even remember anything, but this method doesn’t make you conscious.

Laughing gas is the lightest form of sedation. It’s easily reversed because you simply exhale the gas and it leaves your system. You’ll wear a light rubber hood over your nose and gently breath in the air that flows through it. The hood might be scented with something yummy like vanilla or orange.

This gas makes your head feel light and you might get a case of the giggles! Patients usually report tingling limbs, dulled hearing, and a flying sensation.

Talk with your dentist about which dental sedation option is best for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725


Comfortable Dental Anesthesia – Is Needle-Free Possible?

When it comes down to it, there’s no way you can be totally numb without some form of an injection. Your dentist needs to use a needle to deliver the anesthesia into the site where the nerves are.

Happily, there are ways to make this experience a much more pleasant one for those with a fear of needles! The best news is that you may never even feel the injection.

Wish Away Worries with The “Wand”

The Wand is a computerized system that makes traditional anesthesia injections much more comfortable by:

  • Delivering a constant and smooth flow of medication so that it doesn’t burn
  • Helping the dentist detect the ideal site for injection and avoid reinjection
  • Using a lightweight “wand” instead of a traditional bulky needle so that the operator has a clearer view and more gentle touch

Numbing Jelly: Your Best Friend

Sometimes, all you might need is a little topical numbing gel on your gums so you don’t feel the pinch of the needle. In fact, many dentists have a standard of practicing this way. Dental offices all have flavored jellies that contain ingredients similar to an oral numbing gel you’d find in a drugstore.

A dab of this jelly could set you up for a very comfortable injection.

Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

Whether you try a little laughing gas or take a pill before your appointment, chances are there’s a technique that’s right for you. Light sedation can help you relax immensely. In fact, you’ll feel so good you’ll probably either giggle or snooze your way through the numbing!

Ask your local dentist about which techniques he or she uses to make their anesthesia injections as comfortable as possible.

Posted on behalf of:
Horizon Dental Care
1615 Williams Dr.
Georgetown, TX 78628


Is It Safe for Kids to Have Dental Sedation?

Like all loving parents, you want the best for your child. You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry and you wonder if it’s a good idea for your kids to have it.

Kinds of Sedation Available

Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas, this option is great because it has no side-effects or known allergies. It can be instantly reversed and gives kids a giggly feeling.

Oral – Pills or a syrup can help kids relax without making them unconscious. They probably won’t remember what happened or even care about what’s happening during treatment.

Intravenous (General) – Specialists trained in this will monitor your child the entire time they “sleep” during the procedure.

Why Your Dentist May Recommend Sedation

Children might need sedation if:

  • They have special needs that make it difficult for them to sit still
  • They need treatment at a very young age
  • They are especially nervous in the dental chair
  • Your dentist needs to perform a lengthy or complex procedure

Make Sedation a Safe Experience

Happily, you can play a part. Make sure that you follow the doctor’s orders exactly when it comes to preparing your child for treatment. This includes any directions about whether or not they can have breakfast on the day of the procedure.

Keep your tone and demeanor upbeat when you discuss the procedure with your child. It won’t help them if they pick up on your fear and anxiety! Do all you can to help them feel secure and comfortable after the sedation wears off. Lastly, trust that the medical staff at the office know exactly what to do and have your child’s best interests at heart.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336


Novocain Allergies – Do you Have One?

Most dental restorations such as fillings, crowns, and root canals require that the tooth be numbed before your dentist can begin the restoration work.  For some patients, their fear of a shot is worse than the actual dental treatment.

Certain people need to worry about more than just a small pinch. Allergies to anesthetics in dentistry are rare, but they do happen. Do you suspect that you may have one?

Inside Novocain

Novocain was a specific drug that is traditionally used in dentistry. It’s not the only one, however. A lot of patients use the word “Novocain” to refer to a numbing shot, but your dentist probably uses other drugs since Novocain has become outdated. Lidocaine is actually the most common, these days. Ask your dentist what kinds he or she has available.

It’s not just the anesthetic itself that you might be allergic to. A numbing shot contains other elements that help the drug to work faster and longer. When people have a reaction to anesthesia, it’s often because of the epinephrine in it. Check with your doctor to see whether you need to avoid epinephrine. Your dentist can offer you shots that don’t contain this ingredient, if necessary.

Is It an Allergy?

Anesthesia is complicated, making it hard to predict how individuals will respond. The hard part is that there isn’t a very definitive way to screen for a sensitivity to most anesthetic drugs themselves. You usually find out through experience which shots work well for you.

A true allergy to an anesthetic will manifest itself in signs like:

  • Itching
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Sneezing
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Sweating

If you feel a little pinch or discomfort during the injection, don’t worry, it’s probably not an allergy! But should a real problem arise, your dentist will know what to do.

Posted on behalf of:
Northampton Dental
24036 Kuykendahl Rd Suite 300
Tomball, TX 77375
(832) 639-6350


10 Ways to Relax Away That Dental Anxiety

Dental fear is real and often incapacitating.

You might be sick of hearing others tell you that dental care is “no big deal” and “why don’t you just get over it.”

Instead of fooling yourself into believing that you don’t really need dental treatment, try these techniques for conquering your fears at your own pace.

  1. Bring along a book, electronic game, or word search puzzle to distract your mind.
  2. Get comfy with a blanket and pillow from home.
  3. Drown out terrifying background noises with music or a audio-book in a set of earphones.
  4. Establish a system of signals with your dentist so that you can calmly let him or her know you need a break.
  5. If you have a strong gag reflex, aim to close your eyes, breathe through your nose, and wiggle your toes during scary moments. This really helps direct your senses away from your mouth!
  6. Bring along a supportive friend or family member for the companionship.
  7. Eat a light meal an hour or two before your appointment.
  8. Schedule treatment at the least stressful time of your day.
  9. Try aromatherapy with some soothing essential oil or scented lotion that will help you ignore any unusual smells in the office.
  10. Ask your dentist about dental sedation options.

You don’t need to let anyone make you feel bad for having an uncontrollable fear. But neither do you need to let that fear control you! You deserve a healthy, comfortable, and beautiful smile, no matter what.

Posted on behalf of:
Cane Bay Family Dentistry
1724 State Rd #4D
Summerville, SC 29483
(843) 376-4157


The Cost of Dental Anesthesia

As long as modern dentistry has existed, so have the various methods for making it more comfortable. Today, there are increasingly more options available. From simple injections to general sedation, you can choose whichever technique suits you the best.

Your next concern is likely: how much will this cost?

Almost all dental treatment involves the use of local anesthesia. This has typically been known as “novocaine.” In actuality, many other kinds of anesthetics are used such as lidocaine and prilocaine. The numbing injection is typically included in the cost of your procedure.

Next on the list is nitrous oxide. Better known as laughing gas, nitrous will help you relax well before you feel the pinch of a needle. Some dental offices charge for nitrous oxide use by the hour and others by the appointment session. You can expect a rough estimate of about $50, give or take.

Oral sedation is the technique that’s gaining wide popularity. A small dose of medicine may be all you need to make the whole appointment a blur. The types and amounts of medications vary in cost, but you might expect the price tag to be around a couple hundred dollars.

Lastly, intravenous sedation is the most expensive and most thorough sedation dentistry method coming in around $400 for the first hour. Any additional hours will probably have a reduced rate.

These are all very general estimates. What you might actually pay depends on where your office is located and what services they offer. You can do your part by researching in advance what your insurance covers.

More and more general dentists are offering sedation therapy to make dental care accessible to more people who need it. Find out more by contacting your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Gordon Dental of Leawood
11401 Nall Ave #102
Leawood, KS 66211
(913) 649-5017


Can I Eat Before Having Dental Sedation?

The kind of sedation you are having affects what and when you can eat.

If you’re having sedation with laughing gas (nitrous oxide,) then eating won’t make a difference. The same is true for local anesthesia.

The deeper forms of sleep dentistry, including oral and IV sedation, are another story.

With these methods, you should avoid eating for at least 6 hours before your appointment. This is because food can affect how you absorb the medication. Even more importantly, your reflexes are dulled while you’re sedated. If your stomach gets upset while you’re laying back, there’s a big risk of choking on your last meal.

What NOT to Eat

Alcohol generally does not mix well with medications. Although traditionally used to help calm the nerves, it should definitely NOT be used along with oral sedation. If you drink on a regular basis, talk with your doctor about it well before your dental appointment.

Surprisingly, there’s an enzyme in grapefruit that affects the way your body will break down medications. So stay clear of grapefruit juice both before and for some time after your procedure.

Eating After Your Treatment

It’s really important that you stay hydrated. Get plenty of water to drink the night before your appointment. Also drink as much water as you can comfortably handle after your treatment.

Depending on the nature of the procedure, you may have to stick to soft foods for a while afterwards. Try to incorporate healthy items in smoothies to get the healing nutrients your body needs.

Ask your dentist for more information on the benefits of dental sedation and how to use it safely.

Posted on behalf of:
Cosmetic Dentist of Hayward
27206 Calaroga Ave #216
Hayward, CA 94545
(510) 782-7821


Why Dental Sedation is a Good Idea Even if You’re Not Afraid

Isn’t dental sedation just for those with a phobia of dental treatment?

Although it’s certainly most helpful in that area, it’s also beneficial even if you’re not usually nervous about dental treatment.

Let’s take a look at an interesting application of dental sedation that could change the way even you view dental treatment:

Sedation Comes in Different Levels

There are actually varying levels of sedation for you to choose from. From light to deep sedation, there’s something to meet every need and individual.

Laughing gas is a good example of the lightest form of sedation. All it does is relax your body and dull your mind to discomfort. It’s a great option for little kids and for people who just want to take the edge off their anxiety about having an injection.

To get a little deeper sedation there are oral medications that help you forget the entire experience. These drugs don’t always put you to sleep, but you’ll feel like you’ve been napping.

The deepest level of sedation is that with an I.V. General sedation will keep you out cold for the entire procedure until the medication delivery is turned off.

Benefit of Dental Sedation

Dental sedation could help you out if you:

  • Need a lengthy or complex procedure
  • Can’t afford to take several days off of work to get all treatment done
  • Just want to get everything over with at one time
  • Prefer to relax and not think about what’s going on

Just a thought! Dental sedation isn’t only for those who shake like a leaf in the dental chair. It could be your ticket to FINALLY checking off every item of your treatment to-do list. Ask your dentist how.

Posted on behalf of:
Spanaway Family Dentistry
20709 Mountain Hwy E #101
Spanaway, WA 98387
(253) 948-0880


Does Dental Sedation Hurt?

When you think about it, the goal of dental sedation is to alleviate anxiety and dull sensitivity. Choosing sedation helps to relax your mind and allows you to tolerate treatment so that you get the professional care you need. It would be beside the point if the sedation were to cause you discomfort!

Here’s how:

Oral Sedation

Prescription-strength syrups and pills are available from your dentist. You usually take the sedative medication a little while before your appointment and have a friend drive you to the office.

These drugs will put you in a relaxed dream-like state. You might even fall asleep during treatment!

Inhaled Gas

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the simplest and safest form of sedation available. You simply breathe it in and enjoy the giggly effects almost instantly! The effects of this sedation are very light and are easily reversed.

Will Sedation Be Enough?

Maybe not. It depends on the treatment you need. Sedation will lower your awareness so that you are more comfortable, but it won’t make all the pain go away. You usually still need local anesthetic (numbing) during your visit.

Fortunately, the sedation will make it much easier to get an injection! You probably won’t feel the needle at all. And if you simply need some sedation to ease extreme anxiety during a non-invasive procedure (say, for a simple dental cleaning), then you won’t need a shot at all.

Some specialty offices do offer general (IV) sedation, but that’s usually reserved for complicated oral surgeries or lengthy procedures. Talk with your dentist about the sedation options available to improve your overall dental treatment experience.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-6336

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