Dental Tips Blog

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

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
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

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
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

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