Dental Tips Blog

Mar
31

What You Can Do to Make Sedation Dentistry Safer

Dental sedation is great for those with dental phobias or who are otherwise unable to sit through treatment. Young children, those with Parkinson’s, and individuals with certain mental disabilities may also benefit.

Want to tackle a laundry list of dental treatment but just don’t have time?

Get it all done in one visit of several hours while comfortably sedated.

But once in a while, you hear a scary story about dental sedation going tragically wrong.

How can you make your procedure safer experience?

Sedation, while serious, is not in itself dangerous – as long as there is sufficient planning and monitoring. People require different sedation methods to meet their unique needs. The medications used to achieve sedation vary.

A well-trained dental team is also important. Accidents often happen when there aren’t enough team members to monitor the patient’s condition during sedation treatment. Sometimes, those responsible for monitoring the patient don’t have the necessary skills to act should something go wrong.

To ensure you have a safe dental sedation procedure, ask your dentist these questions:

  • Exactly what kind of sedation is right for me?
  • What are the requirements for providing dental anesthesia in our area?
  • What is the plan for monitoring my condition and keeping me safe during treatment?
  • Is there an emergency response protocol prepared for in case something goes wrong?

In turn, you can do your part by disclosing to your dentist your entire health history. Certain underlying conditions or medications can have more of an impact than you’d think on a simple sedation procedure.

Not sure about your current health condition? Consult your personal physician and then you’ll be ready to discuss dental sedation with your dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Dental Health
2285 Peachtree Rd #203
Atlanta, GA 30309
(678) 666-3642

Mar
30

Does Nitrous Oxide Have Any Risks?

Better known as laughing gas, nitrous oxide has long been used in sedation dentistry to help patients relax and endure treatment. Laughing gas is considered safe for all, even for little kids, but does it carry any risks?

Quantity Matters

Folks used to believe nitrous oxide was as harmless as oxygen. We’ve since learned that there is such a thing as too much of a good thing.

Inhaling too much nitrous oxide can essentially block out oxygen. This is where the danger comes in – you can suffocate just by breathing in too much. It has to be mixed with pure oxygen to be used in dentistry.

What Nitrous Does

Laughing gas is given through a closed system of tubes with a continuous vacuum. The gas comes in through one tube where it’s inhaled and then the exhaled gas flows out the other pipe to a waste disposal.

No one can say for sure how nitrous depresses the central nervous system. All we know is that, similar to alcohol, nitrous slows down brain response. This dulls pain, lessens anxiety, and creates a sense of careless euphoria.

All this is well and good for the patient, but the clinician administering it has to pay careful attention.

The dentist or other trained medical professional carefully monitors the nitrogen-oxygen ratio. Once the patient starts feeling the effects of the gas, the flow is kept at that ratio. As soon as the anesthesia is no longer needed, the oxygen is increased to flush out the laughing gas.

The only risk to using laughing gas is using too much at one time. As long as a trained professional is administering and monitoring the gas flow, it’s perfectly safe. Ask your dentist for more information on anesthesia safety.

Posted on behalf of:
Green Dental of Alexandria
1725 Duke St
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-1725

Mar
6

Get Your Dental Anxiety Under Control For Good!

Dental anxiety can be crippling. At the least, it makes every trip to the dentist’s a stressful endeavor. At its worst, it prevents people from getting needed dental care.

Do you suffer from fear of the dentist? These tips can help you get a handle on your emotions when it comes to dental treatment.

Talk it out with someone who cares.

Try discussing your anxiety with a doctor, therapist, or close friend. Even better, try talking with someone you trust who has knowledge of the dental field. Giving voice to your anxiety can prepare you to tackle it.

An empathetic dentist would be willing to meet with you away from a dental chair to sit down and calmly discuss your concerns.

Ask for sedation

Almost all dental offices have techniques for reducing anxiety. But there are likely some near you that specialize in treating folks with extreme dental fear. Those clinics will be equipped with safe dental sedation that can work wonders – you could end up dozing your way through nerve-wracking nervousness!

Create positive memories.

Most dental fears are embedded in a bad experience. No matter what happened in the past, it’s difficult to erase the negative emotions.

Fight back by creating and dwelling on positive dental experiences. One nice visit to the dentist’s makes it easier to schedule another, then another, and so on.

Start small by scheduling a simple dental examination. If you do need treatment, break it up over multiple visits so that you can gradually build up your courage.

With a little help and honest self-examination, you’ll find that it’s easy to get a handle on dental anxiety. Get more tips by calling a dental office near you.

Posted on behalf of:
Crabapple Dental
12670 Crabapple Rd #110
Alpharetta, GA 30004
(678) 319-0123

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

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