Dental Tips Blog

Oct
16

What Does it Feel Like to Get Dental Sedation?

“Sleep through your treatment!”

“You won’t remember a thing!”

“Banish dental phobia forever!”

You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry. Although it sounds like an ideal setup, you’re a little concerned about what to expect.

Here’s an idea of what you might experience with dental sedation.

Nitrous oxide: This is a colorless and odorless gas that you inhale through a nosepiece. The gas is a mixture of oxygen and nitrogen.

What you’ll feel: The nasal hood might be pleasantly scented and the air will feel cool, but there’s nothing uncomfortable about the process. Within minutes, your head may buzz, hearing may dim, and your limbs grow numb. You might feel weightless and the sensation could bring on a case of the giggles. You remain conscious the entire time. The effects wear off instantly.

Oral sedative: This comes in a pill or syrup that you take within an hour or so of your procedure. This sedative is only available with a prescription.

What you’ll feel: Although you don’t lose consciousness, you’ll get very sleepy and numb. You will respond to questions and commands during treatment but you won’t remember much afterwards. The medication can last for an hour or so after the procedure.

IV sedation: A needle inserted into a vein provides a steady stream of anesthesia that acts much like the oral version. The effects are also similar to the oral sedative.

What You’ll feel: When you wake up, you’ll feel groggy like you took a heavy nap. It can take a couple of hours for the effects to fully wear off.

Have an open discussion with your dentist well before the procedure so you can select the sedation option that’s safest and most comfortable for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Converse Dentistry
6634 Binz-Engleman Rd #109
Converse, TX 78109
(210) 960-8204

Jul
31

Is Laughing Gas Dangerous?

Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a colorless gas that depresses the nervous system. It dulls pain and mildly alters awareness. Sounds may be distorted and some people report feeling numb or tingling limbs while inhaling this gas.

This may sound more like a street drug than a medical treatment. In reality, nitrous oxide, better known as “laughing gas,” is an effective and safe anesthetic used by many dentists for mild dental sedation to help relieve anxiety and make dental treatment more comfortable. But, go back nearly two centuries, and you’ll find that N2O was the complete opposite of a medical standard.

Soon after the discovery of this gas, it became a carnival attraction. Whole crowds would assemble to breathe in nitrous oxide and revel in the effects. When a dentist in the 1840s attempted to use nitrous as an anesthetic, he was ridiculed.

Nowadays, we know that recreational use of nitrous oxide can be dangerous. This is primarily because inhaling too much of the gas by itself can deprive your brain of oxygen.

Today’s dentists administer the gas in the safest way possible. The flow is combined with an oxygen tank so that the patients never lose too much air. Only trained dental professionals can give someone nitrous oxide.

On the plus side, nitrous has no residual effects and doesn’t accumulate in the system. Each dose is carefully measured and can be almost instantly reversed, if needed. It’s a very low-stress anesthesia technique that’s popular for children’s appointments.

The FDA regulates the use of nitrous oxide and you can rest assured that the controlled setting of a dental office is a safe place to use it. If you want to ease dental anxiety, ask your dentist whether laughing gas is right for you.

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

Jul
18

3 Dental Sedation Myths Debunked

Have you heard the hype about dental sedation? It’s quickly becoming a more popular and accessible procedure than ever before.

Addressing the following three myths can help clear up any confusion about sedation dentistry.

Myth #1: Sedation Can Only Be Used For Complicated Dental Procedures

Facts: Sedation helps you relax during any lengthy, complicated, or nerve-wracking procedure. If getting a small filling is enough to make you break out in a cold sweat, don’t be embarrassed to ask about getting sedation.

The goal of this therapy is to make your treatment easier to sit through – no matter what kind of procedure that is.

Myth #2: Dental Sedation Knocks You Out

Facts: General anesthesia is the kind that puts you out for the count. That’s not the kind that most dental offices are talking about when they suggest sedation therapy.

Dental sedation comes in three methods:

  • Intravenous (IV)
  • Oral medication
  • Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

Laughing gas is quickly reversible and very light. The other two options can make you feel sleepy and forgetful.

Myth #3: Only People With Dental Phobia Should Have Sedation

Facts: Actually, even if you don’t feel nervous about the dentist at all, you could still benefit from sedation. If you have a strong gag-reflex that could make treatment a little tricky, sedation will dull your response.

Because of neurological problems some people can’t sit still enough for delicate procedures. Here, too, dental sedation comes to the rescue.

Ready to learn other ways dental sedation could improve your next dental procedure?

Contact your local dental office to ask about sedation dentistry options available in your area.

Posted on behalf of:
Columbia Dental Center
915 N Main St #2
Columbia, IL 62236
(618) 281-6161

Jun
20

Moms-to-Be and Dental Anesthesia Safety

Are you an expectant mom?

While you’re eager to welcome your new baby, you aren’t looking forward to getting dental work. For the sake of you and your baby’s health, however, you might not be able to postpone treatment.

Keep these guidelines in mind for safe and comfortable dental treatment during pregnancy:

When Should Pregnant Women Get Dental Treatment?

It’s best to avoid “invasive” dental treatment during the first trimester. That’s when your baby is going through the most significant changes. Your child’s development can easily be affected by medications during those critical first three months.

The second semester is a good time to get necessary dental work done. It’s safer for your baby and easier on you. All non-essential treatment (like teeth whitening) can wait until after your baby is born.

Anytime you have an oral infection, however, you should not wait to get that treated. The bacteria could harm your baby!

Lower Anxiety

Reducing stress on your body is healthier for you and for your growing baby. You’ll want to reduce anxiety and discomfort during those necessary dental visits.

Category B anesthetic injections are considered safe during pregnancy. This means that you can get numbing shots for dental treatment without any risk to your baby.

Dental sedation medications are not recommended for pregnant women, but your dentist can give you safe alternatives, if needed.

Healthy Smile, Healthy Baby!

A study published in The Journal of the American Dental Association (JADA) last year found that there is no connection between dental treatment with anesthetics and negative pregnancy outcomes.

Despite common misconception, dental treatment is actually beneficial to your developing baby’s health. Schedule a visit to your local dentist for a consultation.

Posted on behalf of:
Mercy Dental
1905 East Monte Cristo Road
Edinburg TX 78542
956-404-0220

Jun
9

Why Give Dental Sedation A Try?

Dental sedation is not as complicated as it may sound.

It’s simply when your dentist gives you either an oral or IV medication to help you relax during your treatment. Your dentist will review your medical history in advance and even consult your doctor to find out which kind of sedation is best for you.

Why should you look into “sleep dentistry?”

Sedation Can Speed Up The Longest Procedures

Some patients don’t have any dental phobias at all. Even so, they would prefer to doze their way through procedures that could take several hours. Sedation dentistry is common for things like:

  • Multiple tooth extractions
  • Root canals
  • Smile makeovers

It’s also not a bad idea to get a lot of little dental procedures done in one sitting. Sedation can help you comfortably sit through all that treatment just so you can get it over with in one day.

Anxiety Is Bad For Your System

If you struggle with anxiety every time you see that dental chair, your body could be suffering more than you realize. Stress floods your system with cortisol, a hormone that can affect blood sugar levels, belly fat, and your immune system.

Give your body a break by relaxing with the help of some sedative medication.

Kick Dental Fear To The Curb – For Good!

All it takes is one bad dental experience to scare you away from the dentist for good.

But one or two surprisingly pleasant appointments could be enough to restore your confidence in dentistry. Try some sedation for one or two procedures and see how much better you’ll feel.

Ask your local dentist about the sedation option that’s right for you.

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

Jun
4

Laughter is the Best Medicine . . . For Dental Anxiety?

Do you struggle with overcoming irrational fears before each dental appointment?

Even if you don’t have a serious phobia, it’s still possible for dental anxiety to keep you away from the dentist for months at a time.

As surprising as it may sound, laughter could be your key to relaxing during dental visits. Here’s how.

Nitrous Oxide To Ease Anxiety

Better known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen that you breathe in to alleviate anxiety. No one has figured out yet exactly how it works, but it does help dull your nervous system.  Sedation dentistry with laughing gas can provide comfortable, anxiety-free dental care.

Laughing gas won’t knock you out cold, but it dulls your ability to feel pain. It also induces a sense of weightlessness and well-being. Some patients who try it feel like they can fly during their appointment. Limbs grow numb, sounds become dim, and you might even be overcome with a case of the giggles.

Is Laughing Gas Safe?

Nitrous oxide doesn’t really have any side-effect. It doesn’t interact with much, either. This makes it safe for most patients, especially children.  Where it gets a little tricky is when a person has a breathing obstruction. Laughing gas must be inhaled through the nose. If you have blocked sinuses at the time of your appointment, then tough luck, the laughing gas probably won’t work.

Tips For Managing Dental Anxiety

Nitrous oxide is just one of many ways that you can calm your fears about dental treatment. To find out whether laughing gas is right for you and how else you can relax your anxiety, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Heritage Dental
23945 Franz Rd Suite A
Katy, TX 77493
(832) 709-2429

Apr
17

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

Jan
8

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

Nov
24

Preparing for Your Sedation Appointment

You requested sedation to help you cope with some dental anxiety. But it is ironic that you might be nervous about being partially sedated in a dental chair for the first time. With a little preparation, however, you’ll have nothing to worry about!

Know Your Risks

Sedation of any kind at any time does have some inherent risks. It’s essential that you keep your dentist fully informed of all of your medical details. Having certain allergies or taking certain medications can affect the way dental sedation affects you.

Your dentist will take the time to review with you all risks and benefits associated with a procedure such as sedation. With open communication, everyone can plan for a safe appointment!

Bring a Friend

You should never plan to drive yourself while you have a sedative in your system. If you take the medication at the office, make sure that you have a reliable companion ready to drive you home.

Take Some Time Off

Some dental procedures allow you to head right back to the office before lunch break is over. But you shouldn’t force the matter if you’ve had some sedation. It’s okay to rest a bit before returning to work! It may not even be safe for you to travel on your own.

Review Instructions Carefully

Don’t take lightly the instructions your dentist will give you prior to your appointment! If your sedation is an oral medication, then you need to take the prescribed dose when the doctor says to. This will allow your dentist to get your procedure done on time and successfully deal with any unexpected changes.

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

Sep
15

What is Conscious Sedation?

Did you know that it’s possible to be only partially sedated?

Conscious sedation means that you aren’t totally unaware of what’s going on. What is it and how is it used in dentistry?

How Conscious Sedation is Achieved

Your dentist will prescribe a medication that you take a couple of hours in advance of treatment. The medication will make you sleepy, but it doesn’t make you completely unconscious!

It alters your awareness so that you don’t feel as much pain, discomfort, or anxiety.

What Conscious Sedation Feels Like

After taking the medication, you should feel very drowsy. You’ll feel groggy and probably won’t care too much about what’s going on around you!

Some patients fall asleep from the medication. But for the most part, you should stay alert for the procedure. You’ll be able to answer questions and follow directions.

The best part is that by the time the sedation wears off, you likely won’t remember a thing. You’ll feel as if you just woke up from a nap, and you may have only a vague recollection of the treatment process.

Is Conscious Sedation for You?

Conscious sedation has been safely used in dentistry for many years. If you suffer from:

  • Dental phobia
  • Anxiety
  • Very sensitive teeth
  • An inability to sit still long enough for successful treatment

…then conscious sedation can help you to relax and enjoy the highest standard of dental care. Your dentist will work carefully with your doctor to ensure that you are prescribed a sedative that works safely with your current medications and health conditions.

Ask your local dentist for more information!

Posted on behalf of:
Riverheart Family Dentistry
8618 Mexico Road
O’Fallon, MO 63366
(636) 205-4045

Most Popular

Tori, Exostosis, and Extra Bone Formation in the Mouth

A fairly common occurrence in the mouth is the existence of extra bone development along the outside or inside of the jawline near the teeth, or in the roof of…

Lingual Frenectomy versus Lingual Frenuloplasty

Lingual frenectomy and lingual frenuloplasty are both dental procedures used to correct a condition called ankyloglossia. Ankylogloassia, more commonly known as ‘tied tongue’, is an abnormality of the lingual frenulum….

Difference Between Conscious and Unconscious Sedation

Sedation dentistry is a wonderful option for many people who would not or cannot tolerate dentistry in a traditional dental setting.   Many people have a fear of visiting the dentist,…