Dental Tips Blog

Feb
16

3 Questions to Ask Your Dentist About Sleep Dentistry

Whether you plan for a little routine dental work or a major procedure with an oral surgeon, you want to know what to expect when it comes to sleep dentistry.

Here are four important questions to discuss with your care provider well before you schedule treatment.

  1. What should I do to prepare?

You can’t just walk in off the street and magically fall asleep for dental treatment. Before you can have any kind of sedation, you’ll need to carefully plan things out with your dentist.

For example, some medications require that you come in on an empty stomach. What you eat and when you take your regular medications can also affect the kind of sedation you have and what time to schedule your treatment.

Additionally, your sedative may require that you take it well before arriving for your procedure. This means you’d need to arrange for a friend to bring you to the dental office.

  1. Will I be conscious?

Not all “sleep dentistry” means that you’ll be completely knocked out. Most dental procedures can be done under a very mild sedation that keeps you conscious. The medications help you relax and forget about the stress of treatment.

Complex procedures like jaw surgery may require general anesthesia which does put you “fully under.”

  1. Could my current medications interact with the sedative?

Some sedatives can be dangerous if taken along with certain other meds. Your dentist will carefully review your medical history before prescribing a sedation technique. But it doesn’t hurt to get ahead and start asking now. The sooner you clear things up, the better.

Don’t hesitate to ask any other questions that come to mind!

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

Feb
13

Will Sedation Dentistry Cause Any Side-Effects?

Everyone loves the idea of sleeping through dental treatment. The good news is that it’s essentially been made possible with the help of sedation dentistry.

Dental sedation is usually achieved by administering a benzodiazepine-class drug. Basically, a hefty dose of anti-anxiety medication. The sedative needs to be taken some time before dental treatment and the effects typically last for quite a while afterwards.

The generally anticipated effects are:

  • Relaxation
  • Drowsiness
  • Amnesia (forgetting about what happened)

This is why you need someone to drive you to and from your appointment when you take a sedative for dental treatment. There’s no way you’re getting behind the wheel in that state!

As far as side-effects go, these are pretty typical to those of many other medications and may include:

  • Dry mouth
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Light-headedness

Keep in mind, however, these effects aren’t expected in every case. People react differently to dental sedation just as they react differently to any other drug. If you experience any of these side-effects, it should be very mild.

Allergies and other serious reactions to any sedative medication should be reported to your dentist right away. Your dental team will be closely monitoring your condition during treatment and for some time after the procedure. Once you’re given the green light to go home, you should be just fine.

But in the very unlikely event you experience something serious later on, you’ll want to contact emergency services.

By communicating openly with your dentist beforehand, you can find out which sedative technique is likely to be the most effective and safest one for you.

Want to know more about sedation dentistry? Contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Gwinnett Family Dental Care
3455 Lawrenceville Hwy
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 921-1115

Feb
11

How to Make Your Next Dental Appointment Comfortable and Pain-Free

Like countless other people, you think of each visit to the dentist as torture.

In fact, dental anxiety may hold you back from getting the care you need on a regular basis. So if you need some help in making your trips to the dental office more enjoyable, then the following tips can help.

Chat with your dentist.

Most dental teams are more than willing to accommodate your needs so that you feel comfortable in their practice. You don’t have to suffer in silence! Talk with your dentist or hygienist to voice your concerns. They’ll be happy to help you, and just talking it out can take a load off your mind.

Take a painkiller beforehand.

This doesn’t mean you should self-medicate before every dental appointment. But if you have an injury or throbbing toothache, dulling the pain before your visit can make it easier to endure an examination.

If you have such a dental emergency or toothache, call your dentist to make sure it’s safe to take an over the counter drug before you come in.

Ask about sedation dentistry.

Some dental offices prescribe anti-anxiety and sedative medications prior to your visit. The medication can help you feel relaxed and calm during treatment.

Dress in loose clothing to add or remove layers as needed.

Having control over your own temperature will help you sit through the appointment in comfort.

Eat breakfast.

Make sure to have a healthy and not-too-heavy meal before your appointment. This will help stabilize your energy levels and emotions and enable you to calmly sit through the appointment.

Want more tips on improving your dental treatment experience? Call your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Grateful Dental
2000 Powers Ferry Rd SE #1
Marietta, GA 30067
(678) 593-2979

Jan
29

How to Care for Someone Who’s Had Oral Sedation at the Dental Office

If you are responsible for accompanying your friend or family member home after his or her dental sedation procedure, there are a few things you should be prepared to do.  Fortunately, it’s extremely rare for there to be any complications that long after treatment. Your tasks are simple.

Offer A Lift

Someone in a sedated state should never drive. Be prepared to play chauffeur or otherwise guide your friend home via public transportation. The patient also should stay away from heavy machinery.

Stay Away From Alcohol

If the patient is of drinking age and enjoys a cold one at the end of a long day, you’ll want to discourage him or her from indulging this habit, just for one evening. It’s dangerous to mix alcohol with drugs left over in the system.

Watch Them Sleep

The patient may still be drowsy after the procedure. If they zonk out, just check in now and then to make sure they’re breathing normally and wake them if they aren’t.

Follow-up On Pain Management

If your friend still has numb lips and/or tongue from dental treatment, make sure they don’t eat anything crazy hot! It’s also a good idea to stick to clear liquids and light low-fat foods for the first meal to avoid a stomach upset. Monitor the patient’s use of pain medication to make sure they take only the recommended dose.

In the meantime, enjoy listening to some of the goofy things your buddy may say while still sedated! Before leaving the office, make sure you’re clear on everything the patient’s dentist instructs you to do.

Posted on behalf of:
Dental Care Center At Kennestone
129 Marble Mill Rd NW
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 424-4565

Dec
31

Want to Try Sleep Dentistry? 3 Things You Should Know Before You Do

You hear the ads and drive by that billboard every day. But does sleep dentistry actually work? Is it even doable? It sounds like something celebrities do as part of a high-end spa package – sleep through dental work.

Sleep sedation dentistry is much more accessible than it sounds. It has great benefits, too:

  • Get more dental work done in one visit
  • Reduce anxiety if you’re nervous about treatment
  • Keep you comfortable during any procedure

Sleep dentistry is not some sensational miracle treatment. Before jumping in, you should know a few things.

  1. You won’t actually be asleep.

Sedation works by lowering your consciousness, but it doesn’t knock you out. You’ll get it through pills or an IV. It feels like you fell asleep because the sedation makes you feel drowsy and forget what happened. Even so, you will be aware enough to communicate.

  1. Sleep dentistry is safe.

Through the entire time you’re sedated you will be monitored closely. Follow directions and carefully share your entire health history. In turn, a properly trained dentist or anesthetist will work with you to ensure that you get the right kind and amount of medication to safely be sedated.

  1. You’ll need to bring a buddy.

You should have a designated driver to bring you home after treatment. If you take sedative pills a few hours before the appointment, you’ll need that person to bring you to the office, too. You don’t want to have temporary amnesia and drowsiness while driving!

Feel free to ask your dentist any questions you may have about the procedure. The more you know, the more comfortable you’ll feel. Ask about options for sedation and anesthesia and other ways to reduce dental anxiety.

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

Dec
21

Can My Child Have Laughing Gas at the Dentist’s Office?

Laughing gas is perfectly safe for children. In fact, it’s often the preferred method for helping little tots stay comfortable during dental procedures. Here’s why:

The effects are quickly reversible. Laughing gas is made from a combination of nitrogen and oxygen called nitrous oxide. It simply contains gases naturally found in our atmosphere, just in different concentrations. By controlling how much your child inhales, the dentist can induce light sedation or reverse the proportion so that the oxygen flushes the nitrogen from the system within a matter of minutes at the end of the procedure.

It’s given in carefully controlled dosages. There is no one-size-fits-all, here. Your child would be given the minimum amount of nitrogen necessary to help him or her stay comfortable. If they don’t accept it well, it can be adjusted or turned off.

Low allergy risk.  With other sedative methods, there is always a small risk of allergic reaction. Nitrous oxide is extremely safe for most people to use.

Zero side-effects. As long as a carefully-trained clinician administers the laughing gas, your child will recover just fine. There won’t be any lingering effects like other sedatives have.

Benefits Of Laughing Gas For Kids

  • Reduces anxiety for children, especially those too young to understand what’s going on
  • Comfortable to administer
  • Has a pleasant scent (kids often pick from vanilla, orange, cotton candy, etc.)
  • Makes it easier to administer other pain-dulling medications, as needed

If you are concerned about the safety of dental sedation for your child, talk with your family or pediatric dentist about how laughing gas could help.

Posted on behalf of:
Mendota Springs Dentistry
6317 McKee Rd #500
Fitchburg, WI 53719
(608) 957-7709

Dec
12

I’m Scared to Get My Wisdom Teeth Extracted!

If you’re terrified to think about having your third molars extracted, then you’re in good company. You can also be comforted by the fact that even though almost everyone is scared of having teeth pulled, they all get through it. You’ll be okay!

Here are a few thoughts to help lift your spirits.

Communicate

Don’t be shy about voicing your concerns to your dentist or oral surgeon. Even the assistants at the office will have great tips and friendly conversation to distract you. Feel free to ask any question you need to.

Focus On The Positives

Getting your wisdom teeth out is always the preferable option to all the bad that could result. If you leave third molars where they are, you could suffer:

  • Decay
  • Gum disease
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Pain 

Get Comfy

One thing that can help is to plan for a comfortable stay. Bring some relaxing music and earphones to your appointment. Wear comfy warm clothes – PJs are acceptable for dental appointments!

You Can Sleep Through The Whole Thing!

Most wisdom tooth extractions are performed while the patient is under IV sedation. If your local dental office doesn’t offer any sedative methods, they can refer you to a dental specialist who offers sedation dentistry that will help you stay at your comfort level during the procedure.

Don’t listen to those stories of people seeing and hearing scary things during their own tooth extraction. With a little sedative help, you won’t have to remember anything from your procedure.

Are you going to have your wisdom teeth taken out sometime soon? Plan a visit with your dentist to get all your questions and concerns resolved in advance.

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

Dec
5

Does Sedation Dentistry Work Like People Say It Does?

Do all those claims and advertisements to “sleep through treatment” sound too good to be true?

Sedation dentistry isn’t exactly like falling asleep on a comfy pillow in your own warm bed and waking up with all of your teeth miraculously fixed.

But the good news is that it does come pretty close to that.

How Sedation Works

When you’re sedated, you aren’t “asleep.” Rather, your consciousness is altered. You’ll actually be awake, able to respond to questions and instructions. The dentist may ask periodically if you’re comfortable, if you need anything, and so on.

So what’s the point of being sedated, then?

Your body will be extremely relaxed. Your perception of discomfort and anxiety will be drastically changed so that you won’t care about what’s going on around you. Being sedated is very helpful if you can’t handle needles. Once your mind is off in la-la land, it’ll be much easier to accept the pain-numbing anesthesia.

As an added bonus, you’ll experience a sort of medical amnesia after treatment. You won’t remember much after it’s all done. This is why you’ll “wake up” from your appointment feeling like you slept deeply.

Sedation Options

Sedation as offered in dentistry tends to come in three main forms:

  • Oral pills or syrup
  • IV medication
  • Laughing gas (inhaled)

To find out which method will give you the perfectly relaxing dental experience (finally!), contact your local dentist. Your dentist will let you know your options and give you some real-life testimonials to help you get an idea of just how well sedation dentistry works.

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

Nov
8

What Is IV Sedation in Dentistry?

Lots of people who struggle with severe dental anxiety choose to get through treatment with the help of IV sedation.

Many dental offices are equipped to provide a sedation experience through an intravenous flow of safe sedative drugs. Often, a dental anesthesiologist works with the dentist. But many dentists become qualified themselves to provide IV sedation by taking rigid accreditation training.

How IV Sedation Works

A needle is inserted into a vein, usually on the back of the hand. The IV solution contains the medication that puts you under moderate sedation. You won’t be completely “knocked out” and neither will you be asleep. Instead, the drug works in two ways:

  • Reducing your sensitivity to pain and discomfort
  • Producing a kind of amnesia so that you don’t remember anything that happened

In addition to IV sedation, you will still need local anesthetic to numb the area the dentist is working on. The professional controlling the sedative will monitor your vital signs and adjust the amount dripping into your body, according to your need.

What To Expect With IV Sedation

The strange part is that during the procedure you will be able to answer questions and respond to directions. For example, the dentist may ask whether you can feel anything after getting a shot. You’ll answer, but it’s going to feel like it didn’t happen because you don’t remember it!

Is IV Dental Sedation Right For You?

Visit your dentist to find out which kind of dental sedation will help make your next appointment a restful one. If IV sedation isn’t available near you, your dentist may still offer an alternative that can keep you just as comfortable.

Posted on behalf of:
Town Center Dental
1110 State Route 55, Suite 107
Lagrangeville, NY 12540
(845) 486-4572

Oct
30

How to Numb Your Teeth Without a Needle

Dental treatment can be scary. Dentists aim to make patients as comfortable as possible with the help of local anesthesia. But getting the numbing shot might be the scariest part of the appointment for you!

Happily, there are some ways to comfortably sit through your procedure without being in morbid fear of that nasty needle.

  1. The Wand

This anesthesia device uses a computer to monitor the rate of drug flow. It looks like a lightweight pen and results in very specific application. Patients usually don’t feel a thing when a dentist uses the Wand to numb a tooth.

  1. Take A “Topical” Retreat

You don’t have to go straight for the pinch of the needle. Most dentist who provide numbing shots first place a little topical numbing jelly on the gums where the needle is supposed to go. This way, it won’t sting when you do get the shot.

Keep in mind that the numbing jelly in itself probably won’t be enough to numb your tooth for a procedure. It really is only skin-deep!

  1. Numb Your Senses

Plenty of dental offices offer dental sedation techniques that help dull your perception of pain. Laughing gas or an oral sedative can help you relax your way through any scary situation. A little sedation will ease your anxiety and make it easier to get the shot.

A numbing shot is almost always essential if you want to dull pain during a dental appointment. It’s the best way to deliver the medicine directly to the nerves of your teeth. But talking with your dentist will help you figure out other ways of working around the pinch of the needle!

Posted on behalf of:
Horizon Dental Care
1615 Williams Dr.
Georgetown, TX 78628
512-864-9911

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