Dental Tips Blog

Sep
13

Dental Sedation – Is it Right for You?

Sedation dentistry is when you have dental treatment with an altered state of consciousness.

There are varying levels of sedation, and most of the ones used in dentistry is considered minimal to moderate.

Minimal sedation happens with laughing gas. Administering nitrous oxide helps you relax, but it doesn’t make you unconscious at all. If anything, you just feel very giddy and happy despite treatment that might otherwise make you anxious.

Moderate sedation keeps the a person awake, but their words are slurred and their memory is foggy when the sedation wears off. This kind is typically achieved with an oral medication or an IV drip for longer procedures.

With so many dental offices now claiming to offer “sleep dentistry,” you’re probably wondering if you should give it a try.

Who Can Benefit from Sedation?

Sedation, or “sleep dentistry,” is great for those who:

  • Cannot endure discomfort
  • Suffer from extreme dental anxiety or fear
  • Need a lot of treatment done at once
  • Have a very sensitive gag reflex
  • Have difficulty sitting still for a long period of time

If you suffer from any of those situations, then sedation dentistry could make your next dental experience a pleasantly brief one.

Is Sedation Safe for You?

Dental sedation is safe when administered by properly trained and certified professionals. But there is always a small risk with this procedure. You may be at even higher risk if you struggle with sleep apnea or obesity. Be sure to review your medical history with your dentist, first.

In the end, the benefits of sedation far outweigh the risks if it will help you get the dental treatment you need. But despite being considered safe, sedation is not given arbitrarily upon request.

Get advice from your doctor and dentist about whether sedation is safe for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Muccioli Dental
6300 Hospital Pkwy # 275
Johns Creek, GA 30097
(678) 389-9955

Sep
4

How to Conquer Dental Anxiety

Dental fear is serious business. Anxiety can cause a whole host of physical complaints such as depression, insomnia, headaches, digestive distress, and muscle tension.

When the anxiety is strong enough, it could keep you away from the dental office entirely. That means dental fear could prevent you from getting essential treatment.

Is your dental anxiety keeping you in dental pain? Here are a few tips for working through your fear and putting it behind you for good.

Find a dentist you trust.

Getting to know a dentist as an individual will help you to not view him or her as an enemy who wants to torture you. Take a little time to just chat with a local dentist and see how your personalities match up before scheduling an appointment.

Communicate your concerns.

Just vocalizing your worries can ease your anxiety so much. When the dental team knows what’s bothering you, they’ll do all they can to make you comfortable.

Schedule early, relaxed visits.

An unhurried appointment early in the morning when you have the most energy is often the best for nervous dental patients.

Distract yourself.

Bring music and earphones and even an eye mask to block out bright lights.

Try dental sedation.

Most dental offices can provide you with a medication that works as a sedative and reduces anxiety.

Explore alternative relaxation techniques.

Try some aromatherapy with essential oils, a massage, or a hot bath prior to treatment.

With a little forethought, you can make your next dental visit an enjoyable one despite your anxiety. Each positive experience is a step closer to conquering your fears, for good! Contact your local dental office for more advice.

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

Aug
19

Who Can Benefit from Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is when your dentist prescribes medication to lower your awareness during dental treatment.

It’s not a “routine” treatment, but it is gaining in popularity because of how it’s revolutionized dental care for so many. It’s quite normal for experienced dentists to offer this service.

What Sedation Dentistry Is NOT

Most cases of being sedated don’t involve “passing out.”

General anesthesia is provided in oral surgery facilities for cases where someone has to be “completely under” for a major operation.

But the dental sedation you hear about in regular practices is different.

There’s no need for intubation. The sedative is light enough that you stay alert, only your consciousness is mildly dulled. Sedation also works as a sort of amnesiac – it helps you forget any anxiety or distressing sensations.

How Sedation Can Help Certain People

Sedation dentistry may be given via IV, an oral medication, or an inhaled gas (laughing gas).

Most of the time, sedatives aren’t prescribed for routine dental cleanings, checkups, or x-rays. But that all depends on the patient.

Sedation dentistry works well for:

  • Those with dental fears ranging from mild anxiety to extreme phobia
  • Someone with a history of bad experiences at the dentist’s office
  • Very small and/or sensitive mouths prone to pain or gagging during treatment
  • People who seem immune to traditional anesthetic injections
  • Children who are too nervous to cooperate
  • Patients with disabilities or conditions that prevent them from remaining calm

The bottom line is that dental sedation may be recommended in any case where someone’s condition prevents them from getting the treatment they need.

If you’d like to learn more about how your or a loved one can safely benefit from dental sedation, contact your local dental office.

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699

Aug
2

Is it Safe to Eat Before Having a Dental Sedation Appointment?

You’re expecting to have anesthesia or sedation at your next dental procedure and you want to know what you should expect. Primarily, you want to know is whether it’s safe to eat before your appointment.

That mainly depends on what kind of sedation you’re having.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia simply refers to the numbing shot almost everyone gets at the dental office. Because this medication is “local,” it only affects your body at the injection site and won’t alter your nervous system.

You can eat as normal before any procedure involving a shot of anesthesia.

Nitrous Oxide

There’s no special requirement for eating when it comes to laughing gas. Some people feel a little nauseous after having nitrous oxide. If you suspect it could make you queasy, then you might opt to avoid eating an hour or two before treatment. A light meal is the best choice for most.

Keep in mind that nitrous oxide does not affect your consciousness. It only helps you feel very relaxed.

Conscious, IV, and General Sedation

If you’re having a very complex or invasive surgery (like jaw reconstruction) then you’ll need deeper anesthesia. You will be partly or totally unconscious depending on how deeply you’re sedated.

For this kind of anesthesia, you will definitely need to have an empty stomach. This usually means not eating for a minimum of six hours before treatment. Eating recommendations can vary for oral sedation.

Carefully follow your dentist’s instructions for eating before any sedation dentistry appointment to ensure safe treatment. Your individual needs will determine when it’s okay to eat.

Drink plenty of water as soon as possible after sedation to stay hydrated.

Talk with your dentist about your options to learn more.

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

Aug
1

What it Feels Like to Be Sedated at the Dental Office

Sleep dentistry” makes it sound like you’ll be unconscious for your dental procedure.

But most dental sedation is actually conscious sedation. This means that you are awake and aware during treatment.

What does that feel like?

Getting Dental Sedation

Most of the time, dental sedation comes via pills or a syrup that you swallow shortly before treatment. Other times, the medication is delivered through an IV drip in a hospital or surgery center.

You’ll remember everything up until the point the medication starts to kick in.

During Sedation Dentistry Appointments

Once the medication takes effect, you’ll become very relaxed and drowsy. Some patients do fall asleep, but they can be awakened with a gentle nudge. The point is that for most cases, you won’t be totally unconscious.

You’ll be alert enough to answer questions and respond to commands from the dentist like “turn your head this way, please” or “open a little wider.” The sedation will keep you from feeling anxious despite knowing what’s going on.

After Treatment

By the time the sedative wears off, you may have no memory of what happened. That’s another effect of the sedative medication – it also works to help you forget any stressful treatment. You’ll feel like you just “woke up” from a ten-minute nap when you really had an hour-long root canal.

Because the effects of dental sedation can last quite a while, you’ll need to have a friend or family member drive you home after your appointment.

Sedation dentistry is safe, painless, and effective. Ask your dentist whether a sedative can help make your next dental procedure a more comfortable one.

Posted on behalf of:
Milton Dental Specialists
13075 Hwy 9, Suite 110
Milton, GA 30004
(770) 521-2100

Jul
15

Getting Sedation for Dental Treatment – Is It Worth It?

Lots of dental offices advertise sedation dentistry as a way to just sleep through treatment.

Sleep dentistry, however, is actually a term for taking medication that helps you relax during treatment. It doesn’t put you to sleep.

Like any other medical procedure that uses sedation, there are some (rare) risks involved. So the decision to have dental sedation is not one to be made lightly.

Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Dental patients primarily need sedatives to help them relax if they have incapacitating phobias or anxiety.

Taking a sedative is also a great way to get through a rather lengthy procedure. You may have a hard time keeping your mouth open and staying comfortable through the extraction of all four wisdom teeth, for example.

Sedation may be necessary in any other situation where the patient can’t sit still for long.

Who Should Have Dental Sedation?

Sedation dentistry is usually recommended for:

  • People with anxiety
  • Lengthy or multiple dental procedures in a single visit
  • Small children
  • People with a disability that prevents them from staying calm during treatment

Is Sedation Right for You?

Talk with your dentist before you pin your hopes on having sedation during your next dental procedure.

Discuss any concerns you have about treatment and review your entire health history. This means going over any and all prescription and over-the-counter medications you’re taking. Medication and even certain medical conditions can rule out some sedative options all together.

Sleep dentistry isn’t exactly the luxury experience it’s made out to be. If you have no problem sitting through dental procedures, then you may not need to bother with sedation, at all. Decide with your dentist whether or not sedation is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Feather Touch Dental Care
1175 Peachtree St. NW Ste 1204
Atlanta, GA 30361
(404) 892-2097

May
13

Is It Safe to Be “Put Under” for Dental Treatment?

You may have heard horror stories about sedation dentistry. Fortunately, even when such stories are true, they are quite rare.

Dental sedation is a safe procedure when performed by a licensed provider and the patient is cleared for certain medical conditions. You also have control over just how safe your sedation appointment is by choosing the right “type” for your situation.

Regular Sedation Dentistry Doesn’t Make You Unconscious

Dental sedation usually involves a medication that makes you drowsy. You’ll feel sleepy and relaxed during your treatment, but you’ll still be conscious. Afterwards, you might not remember much of what happened.

General anesthesia is the kind that makes you “go under” but it’s not used in the dental office. General anesthesia is reserved for complex procedures in an operating room.

Know and Share Your Medical History

It’s absolutely vital that your sedation dentist knows your entire health history and list of current medications. If you hold back any information, it’s at your own risk. You don’t want to find out too late that the herbal supplement you’re taking interacts with the sedation drug the dentist normally prescribes.

By sharing all of your health information, you can plan for a safe dental sedation session with no unpleasant surprises.

Find an Experienced Team

To put your fears at ease, look for a sedation dentistry team with lots of experience. They should all be certified or licensed for the type of service they offer, and trained on how to handle medical emergencies.

Bring a Friend

Always plan to have someone drive you to and from your sedation appointment. This trusted individual will ensure you’re safe and advocate for you while your judgement is impaired.

Contact an experienced sedation dentist in your area to learn more about sedation dentistry safety.

Posted on behalf of:
Dr. David Kurtzman D.D.S.
611 Campbell Hill St. NW #101
Marietta, GA 30060
(770) 980-633

Apr
22

How to Sleep Through Dental Treatment

Sleep dentistry is a generic term for when treatment done while under sedation. But being sedated doesn’t necessarily mean being totally knocked out.

So if you aren’t actually sleeping, then what’s the point?

What Dental Sedation Does

There are different levels of sedation but all have a similar effect to varying degrees.

There’s nitrous oxide, better known as laughing gas. This is the lightest form of sedation. Other kinds come as pills that you swallow some time before treatment. Then comes IV sedation where the drug is administered directly into your veins.

Stronger medicines in higher doses are used to achieve general sedation, which you’re most likely to need during oral surgery.

Sedatives depress the central nervous system and decreases awareness. Anxiety and fears melt away, and the amnesic effect means that you won’t remember much, if anything, of what happened.

Benefits of Dental Sedation

  • Overcome your dental fears
  • Reduce the impact of anxiety on your body
  • Have multiple phases of dental work done in what feels like just minutes

Sedation is also great for patients (like kids) who have a hard time sitting still.

Is Sedation Dentistry Safe?

It’s important to discuss the risks of dental sedation with your dentist in person before pinning your hopes on scheduling a procedure. This is because everyone’s needs are a little different and everyone responds to sedatives differently.

Sedation can be dangerous if you are taking certain medications. Your dentist needs to know your current medical history in detail before prescribing anything.

With a well-trained dental team, sedation dentistry is perfectly safe and the benefits outweigh the risks.

If you’re interested in learning about your dental sedation options, contact your local dentist.

Posted on behalf of:
Dream Dentist
1646 W U.S. 50
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 726-2699

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

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