Dental Tips Blog

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

Apr
15

Comfortable Dental Anesthesia – Is Needle-Free Possible?

When it comes down to it, there’s no way you can be totally numb without some form of an injection. Your dentist needs to use a needle to deliver the anesthesia into the site where the nerves are.

Happily, there are ways to make this experience a much more pleasant one for those with a fear of needles! The best news is that you may never even feel the injection.

Wish Away Worries with The “Wand”

The Wand is a computerized system that makes traditional anesthesia injections much more comfortable by:

  • Delivering a constant and smooth flow of medication so that it doesn’t burn
  • Helping the dentist detect the ideal site for injection and avoid reinjection
  • Using a lightweight “wand” instead of a traditional bulky needle so that the operator has a clearer view and more gentle touch

Numbing Jelly: Your Best Friend

Sometimes, all you might need is a little topical numbing gel on your gums so you don’t feel the pinch of the needle. In fact, many dentists have a standard of practicing this way. Dental offices all have flavored jellies that contain ingredients similar to an oral numbing gel you’d find in a drugstore.

A dab of this jelly could set you up for a very comfortable injection.

Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

Whether you try a little laughing gas or take a pill before your appointment, chances are there’s a technique that’s right for you. Light sedation can help you relax immensely. In fact, you’ll feel so good you’ll probably either giggle or snooze your way through the numbing!

Ask your local dentist about which techniques he or she uses to make their anesthesia injections as comfortable as possible.

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

Feb
14

Is It Safe for Kids to Have Dental Sedation?

Like all loving parents, you want the best for your child. You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry and you wonder if it’s a good idea for your kids to have it.

Kinds of Sedation Available

Nitrous Oxide – Also known as laughing gas, this option is great because it has no side-effects or known allergies. It can be instantly reversed and gives kids a giggly feeling.

Oral – Pills or a syrup can help kids relax without making them unconscious. They probably won’t remember what happened or even care about what’s happening during treatment.

Intravenous (General) – Specialists trained in this will monitor your child the entire time they “sleep” during the procedure.

Why Your Dentist May Recommend Sedation

Children might need sedation if:

  • They have special needs that make it difficult for them to sit still
  • They need treatment at a very young age
  • They are especially nervous in the dental chair
  • Your dentist needs to perform a lengthy or complex procedure

Make Sedation a Safe Experience

Happily, you can play a part. Make sure that you follow the doctor’s orders exactly when it comes to preparing your child for treatment. This includes any directions about whether or not they can have breakfast on the day of the procedure.

Keep your tone and demeanor upbeat when you discuss the procedure with your child. It won’t help them if they pick up on your fear and anxiety! Do all you can to help them feel secure and comfortable after the sedation wears off. Lastly, trust that the medical staff at the office know exactly what to do and have your child’s best interests at heart.

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

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
9

“Sleep” Through Your Smile Makeover

Have you ever thought about how nice it would be to just wake up one day with the smile of your dreams?

That’s actually possible, nowadays. In fact, you could literally dream your way to a dream smile. Dental sedation is the ticket to making it happen.

The Connection Between Cosmetic Dentistry and Sedation

How does anesthesia factor into a cosmetic dental procedure?

Moderate sedation is helpful for patients with a strong fear of having treatment. You might not necessarily be afraid of the dentist. If you need to have a lot of work done, it could be helpful to get it all completed at one time.

You can probably think of more enjoyable things to do than just sitting in a dental chair for hours. Instead, you can just sleep through the appointment.

Is It Safe?

Yes! Getting dental sedation isn’t just for people who are nervous about treatment. It’s a great way to help anyone relax. But first, you’ll consult carefully with your doctor and dentist beforehand to make sure you’re good to go.

Oral sedation is the most common technique. Taking the medication will make you sleepy and forgetful, but you will still be conscious. You’ll just be very relaxed and won’t remember much afterwards.

The benefits include:

  • Only having to miss one day of work for the procedure
  • Not needing to postpone treatment due to lack of time
  • Leaving nothing half finished
  • Very little memory of time spent in the dental office
  • A gorgeous new smile

To find out whether you’re ready for the ultimate smile transformation, schedule a consultation with your dentist. Don’t forget to ask about the possibility of ‘sleeping’ through the makeover process!

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

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

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
6

Does Dental Sedation Hurt?

When you think about it, the goal of dental sedation is to alleviate anxiety and dull sensitivity. Choosing sedation helps to relax your mind and allows you to tolerate treatment so that you get the professional care you need. It would be beside the point if the sedation were to cause you discomfort!

Here’s how:

Oral Sedation

Prescription-strength syrups and pills are available from your dentist. You usually take the sedative medication a little while before your appointment and have a friend drive you to the office.

These drugs will put you in a relaxed dream-like state. You might even fall asleep during treatment!

Inhaled Gas

Nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas, is the simplest and safest form of sedation available. You simply breathe it in and enjoy the giggly effects almost instantly! The effects of this sedation are very light and are easily reversed.

Will Sedation Be Enough?

Maybe not. It depends on the treatment you need. Sedation will lower your awareness so that you are more comfortable, but it won’t make all the pain go away. You usually still need local anesthetic (numbing) during your visit.

Fortunately, the sedation will make it much easier to get an injection! You probably won’t feel the needle at all. And if you simply need some sedation to ease extreme anxiety during a non-invasive procedure (say, for a simple dental cleaning), then you won’t need a shot at all.

Some specialty offices do offer general (IV) sedation, but that’s usually reserved for complicated oral surgeries or lengthy procedures. Talk with your dentist about the sedation options available to improve your overall dental treatment experience.

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

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

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