Dental Tips Blog

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

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

Oct
16

5 Ways to Relax for Your Dental Appointment

Most of us get a little nervous before having dental treatment. Even if you don’t have a full-out dental phobia, the anxiety is enough to ruin your day. What can you do to de-stress before the distress? Dental professionals recommend the following effective tricks.

  1. Bring Warm Layers!

Your body tends to relax when you stay comfortably warm. It’s easier to put on layers in a dental office rather than take them off, so you may find your local dental office to be a little cool. Take your favorite warm blanket to your appointment or dress in loose but warm clothing.

  1. Essential Oils

Yes, a lot of dental professionals love the smell of toothpaste, rubber gloves, and alcohol wipes. But if you prefer to not let those scents remind you where you are, apply a few drops of calming oil like lavender to your upper chest.

  1. Music Is A Must

Dentists commonly advise patients to bring along their favorite music and earphones. This drowns out the unwelcome drilling noises!

  1. Eat A Light Breakfast

Unless instructed otherwise for medical reasons, make sure you have a little healthy food in your stomach. You’ll stay in control of your system when your body is properly fueled. Low blood sugar and a “hangry” attitude won’t help you find your Zen in the dental chair!

  1. Dental Sedation

If all else fails, dental sedation is an excellent option for those who suffer from dental anxiety.  Dental sedation ranges from a mild sedative such as nitrous oxide (also known as laughing gas) to stronger oral conscious sedation and IV sleep sedation.

Ask your local dental team for more tips on getting your chill on before your teeth get their drill on!

Posted on behalf of:
Smile Avenue Family Dentistry
9212 Fry Rd #120
Cypress, TX 77433
(281) 656-1503

Oct
8

Will My Insurance Cover Dental Sedation?

Sedation as used in dentistry can help patients who:

  • Need lengthy or multiple treatments
  • Have a hard time sitting still in the dental chair
  • Suffer from dental phobia
  • Can’t tolerate needles

You may be thinking about getting sedation to improve your next dental treatment experience. Whether laughing gas, an oral medication, or an IV drip, there’s a method that’s sure to fit your needs. But who is going to foot the bill? 

Dental Sedation Insurance Coverage

Most insurances treat sedation therapy as an unnecessary “extra” in dental care. Veneers, teeth whitening, and dental sedation tend to be lumped together in the luxury category. If you want to try a sedative method, then you’ll likely have to pay for that out of pocket.

Medical insurance may pick up the cost if sedation is absolutely necessary to ensure you get the dental treatment you need. Your dental insurance may also provide some coverage, but the sedation cost will probably be taken out of your regular dental benefits.

Your best bet is to contact your insurer directly to find out what benefits you’re entitled to and even to get a pre-determination.

How To Afford Dental Sedation

You may try a dental savings plan which doesn’t cap your benefits but helps you get a discount on any procedure. Talk with your local dental office about in-office financing and payment plans that can make sedation dentistry a reality. Some types of sedation are more affordable than others!

Don’t let worry over the cost of dental sedation hold you back from giving it a try. Your dental office will help you find the best way to afford any procedure you need.

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

Sep
29

How Long Does Dental Sedation Last?

Are you curious how long dental sedation will “knock you out?” For starters, which kind of dental sedation do you plan on having? The human body responds differently to each kind.

Nitrous Oxide

Better known as laughing gas, nitrogen is administered via a hose that you breathe in from. It’s mixed with oxygen and delivered slowly until it achieves the optimum effect on you. Then, trained dental staff closely monitor you and maintain that level of comfort with the inhaled gas.

As soon as your treatment is done, the dentist or assistant will switch you back to oxygen until the gas mixture has left your system. Within a matter of minutes, you’re back to normal.

Oral Sedation

Some dental offices will give you a medication to take about an hour before treatment. That’s how long it takes for the sedative to kick in. The drug will stay in your system for nearly 24 hours, but it is only fully effective for about two to four hours until it starts wearing off.

Even if you feel back to your usual self soon after your dental sedation appointment, it’s still advised to avoid driving for the rest of the day.

IV Sedation

Much like nitrous oxide, IV-administered sedation is kept at a constant level for as long as treatment lasts. This kind is best for lengthy procedures since it can be delivered continuously without worry of it wearing off. Once your treatment is done, the IV is stopped.

The effects of IV sedation begin to fade almost immediately, but you will feel woozy for some time. You should have a companion escort you home after treatment and keep an eye on you for some time.

Ask your dentist which dental sedation method is best for you.

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

Aug
3

Is Dental Sedation Safe for Children?

Dental sedation uses specific drugs to help someone relax during a procedure. It’s used for patients of all ages, but is especially good for children who may be too young or nervous to tolerate treatment.

Sedation keeps the routine treatments routine; and the complicated procedures simpler and comfortable.

Sedation in Pediatric Dentistry

Kids qualify for the same dental sedation techniques as adults do. The doses are just a lot smaller!

These include oral medication, laughing gas, IV-administered sedative, and general anesthesia. If your child ever needs general anesthesia, that’s provided in a hospital or dental surgery.

The other methods are very low-risk to administer as long as everything is carefully planned.

Make Sedation Dentistry Safer

Parents play a key role in ensuring that their child enjoys a safe and successful procedure. It’s essential to follow the dentist’s instructions to a T.

These often include:

  • Dietary restrictions in the hours before treatment
  • Dressing the child in loose-fitting clothing
  • Sharing the child’s complete medical history
  • Not bringing along other kids who can cause a distraction
  • Comforting their child

Everyone is closely monitored during sedation treatment, but kids in particular. The dental team will be constantly checking things like blood pressure, temperature, and heart rate.

There’s no reason to be nervous about kids getting sedation when everyone does their part to keep treatment safe!

When Your Child Needs Sedation

Remember that sedation helps your child to stay safe and relaxed during delicate dental procedures. They’ll feel much better about dozing or giggling their way through treatment than struggling in fear and frustration.

Talk with your dentist about which sedation options are best for your family.

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

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

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