Dental Tips Blog

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
25

Why People Without Dental Phobia Are Trying Sedation Dentistry

Have you been seeing more ads for “sleep dentistry?”

It’s becoming a popular selling point for dental offices targeting a population of fearful patients.

While most of us don’t exactly enjoy the prospect of dental work, not everyone has a morbid fear of the dentist. Even so, you might be surprised to see how “sleep dentistry” can make the experience a lot more pleasant for anyone.

What Happens When You “Sleep?”

Actually, you aren’t really sleeping your way through treatment.

Dental sedation isn’t the same thing as general sedation which knocks you out cold. Instead, it relaxes you to a point that you no longer feel anxiety. Even your ability to feel pain is dulled.

The sedative usually comes as a pill or syrup taken before the appointment or an IV medication administered during treatment.

Most people have little memory of their appointment after having sedation. This is in spite of the fact that they were fully conscious, albeit rather woozy. As a result, they “wake up” feeling like they napped through the process.

Thus the “sleep” dentistry!

Why Give Sedation Dentistry A Try?

If you’ve never had trouble with a simple filling so far, why would you bother trying out dental sedation?

Simply, it comes in handy for really long appointments. If you don’t feel like sitting bored for an hour or two for your next root canal, some sedation can make it pass like two minutes. This is also a great way to get multiple projects (remember those three fillings and two crowns you’re due for?) done in one sitting.

Ask your dentist today how a little sedation could improve your next appointment.

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

Jul
12

5 Ways to Cope with Dental Anxiety

It can be almost impossible to ignore that sense of dread that accompanies you to each dental visit. If your efforts to ignore dental anxiety haven’t been working out, try these suggestions:

  1. Distract Yourself With Music

It’s perfectly fine to bring along a set of earbuds and an audiobook or soothing playlist. Make sure you talk with your dental team about how they can communicate with you during the procedure, if necessary.

  1. Book Your Appointment As Early As Possible

Anxiety levels tend to be lowest when you are well-rested. Your appointment will only be harder on you if you have more time in the day to think about it.

It’s also a good idea to avoid packing too many activities in the same day as your dental visit. That would cause you more stress just by trying to run on time for everything.

  1. Keep Warm!

If you’re chilly, then you’re more likely to feel nervous and uncomfortable. Snuggle up with a warm blanket from home, if that helps you feel better.

  1. Ask About Dental Sedation

There are many options out there for medically alleviating anxiety. In the dental office, these usually include:

– Nitrous oxide (laughing gas)

– Prescription oral sedatives

– I.V.-administered sedation

Once you try sedation dentistry, you’ll wonder what you were so afraid of, to begin with!

  1. Voice Your Concerns To Your Dentist

Your dentist has a lot of experience, but you’ll be able to trust him or her even more after simply vocalizing your questions and concerns.

Make an appointment with your local dentist to find out more ways to kick your dental fears out the door – for now or for good!

Posted on behalf of:
Marvin Village Dentistry
8161 Ardrey Kell Road
Suite 101
Charlotte, NC 28277
(704) 579-5513

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

May
25

Dental Sedation Could Eliminate Your Anxiety

How do you feel when you envision a trip to the dentist’s office?

Like many other people, you might break into a cold sweat and feel your stomach sink into your shoes. Dental fear is more common than you may realize. You might also be surprised to learn that it’s actually pretty easy to deal with.

Sleep Through Treatment

By taking an oral or IV-administered medication, you could doze your way through any dental procedure. Sedation at this level doesn’t render you completely unconscious – you’ll still be able to respond to directions and questions. But you won’t remember much or care about anything that’s going on at the time. It makes it easier to get numbing shots, too.

Who knows? After a few sessions with dental sedation, you could feel so confident about treatment that you’ll never need sedation again.

Take the First Step

Be assured that simply calling a dental office or walking in does not mean that you must sit in a dental chair and have treatment. It’s okay to just have a visit to get familiar with the place and get to know the team. You can have a perfectly relaxing meeting with the dentist to ask all your questions free from the pressure of being in the chair. You’ll learn about sedation options and other techniques for reducing anxiety.

Your dental team is on your side! They want to do everything possible to make you comfortable so that you can get the smile-saving treatment you deserve.

Take that first step by simply calling or emailing your local dental practice for more information.

Posted on behalf of:
Pacific Sky Dental
6433 Mission St
Daly City, CA 94014
(650) 353-3130

Jan
25

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

Jan
10

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

Jan
7

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

Jan
5

How to Talk with Your Dentist About Dental Anxiety

Don’t assume that your dentist doesn’t want to hear about your concerns. A dentist who disregards how you feel during treatment is not someone you want working on your teeth!

You might be surprised to learn just how many individuals have some degree of fear regarding dental care. Dental anxiety ranges from a little nervousness to an actual phobia that prevents people from getting treatment.

You would not be the first to tell your dentist you’re a little scared!

How Your Dentist Can Help

All dentists have experience treating anxious patients. Each one has a different approach and technique for managing dental anxiety.

Methods may include:

  • Offering dental sedation options
  • Creating a relaxed, spa-like office environment
  • Talking patients through treatment with a gentle touch and soothing voice

The main key is good communication!

You can do your part by creating a list of things that you are specifically afraid of. What bothers you? Things like sound and sight of dental equipment? Have you had a bad experience in the past? Heard that root canals are most painful thing ever?

Share your concerns with the dentist. Make an appointment to meet briefly, not for any treatment, but just to talk. Getting your concerns out the open helps your dentist know how to help.

Communication during treatment is also essential. Agree on a safe system for expressing your discomfort or need for a break during the procedure like slowly raising a hand to get the dentist’s attention. You might be surprised to realize that the visit is much easier when you know you have an out!

Get started by calling your dentist to ask about anxiety management techniques available at their office.

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

Nov
28

Scared of Sedation Dentistry?

When the whole point of sedation dentistry is to help you be less afraid of dental care, it can sound a little strange to be afraid of the sedation part!

But don’t worry – it’s perfectly normal to be a bit anxious if it’s a new experience. The reality is that sedation could be the solution to your dental fears. Let’s take a minute to review what you can expect to experience.

Kinds of Sedation

General Sedation – This is the deepest level of sedation. You are out cold! This is not typically used for routine dental procedures. It’s usually only oral surgeons or anesthesiologists and their highly-qualified team that provide this sedation for advanced and lengthy operations.

Moderate Intravenous sedation – This is medication administered through an IV by a trained doctor. You will still be alert and able to respond to commands. This medication is adjusted according to your need.

Oral Sedation – Oral sedation has a minimal to moderate effect. It won’t put you out completely. You won’t remember much afterwards, but you’ll still be conscious for the procedure.

Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide is instantly reversible and has no lasting effects. It helps you relax and is the safest method for kids.

How Sedation Helps

Sedation can help you to view dental care in a positive light. Ease your concerns further by communicating openly with dentist. Ask about which option right for you, how to prepare, and what safety precautions are in place. With a little planning, sedation in dentistry can be an extremely helpful tool and nothing to be afraid of!

Posted on behalf of:
Dona Prince, DDS
4220 Sergeant Rd #100
Sioux City, IA 51106
(712) 274-2228

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