Dental Tips Blog

Oct
18

Here’s How Dental Sedation Actually Works

Knowing what to expect from sedation dentistry and how it works can put your worries to rest.

What Dental Sedation Really Is

A sedative is meant to help the dental patient relax. The goal isn’t to knock you out or render you unconscious. Rather, a sedative can provide relief from dental phobia by helping you be calm and comfortable enough to sit through dental treatment without anxiety.

Not everyone needs a sedative during dental treatment. Your need for sedation depends on factors such as:

  • Your health and current medications
  • The length or nature of your dental procedure
  • Your levels of dental anxiety

How Different Kinds of Dental Sedation Work

There are a few main sedative options in dentistry. These include: laughing gas, an oral medication, or an IV drip.

Each sedative method delivers a different degree of sedation. Laughing gas, for example, is a very mild sedative. It makes you feel relaxed and happy, but it doesn’t do much more than that.

An oral sedative can render you very sleepy and dulls your pain perception. It may also make you forget some parts of the treatment. An IV drip works similarly but it can be used for longer procedures such as oral surgery.

Your Safety During Sedation Dentistry

There will be an entire team of skilled and trustworthy professionals keeping a close eye on you during your dental sedation procedure. You also need to have a trusted companion ready to accompany you home after your appointment. They will be your advocate while you are under the effects of the sedative.

With plenty of precautions in place, sedation dentistry is safe! Talk with a sedation dentist to learn more about the procedure.

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

Sep
11

4 Things You Never Knew About Dental Sedation

Think you’ve heard it all when it comes to sedation dentistry? Test your knowledge with the following four facts about dental sedation that all dentists want you to know.

  1. Dental Sedation Doesn’t Really Put You to Sleep

Forget the whole “sleep” dentistry idea; it’s a bit misleading. Sedation can make you feel drowsy enough to doze off, but the goal isn’t to render you completely unconscious. Rather, it just relaxes you enough to keep you calm and to dull the pain.

  1. Dental Sedation Doesn’t Eliminate All the Pain

The sedation used in a dental office isn’t the general anesthesia used in an operating room. Your dentist offers something much lighter. Again, since sedation only helps you relax, you’ll also need some local anesthetic to prepare your teeth for treatment.

  1. Some Dental Sedation Starts Working the Night Before

If you suffer from severe dental anxiety, your dentist may prescribe a sedative for you to take the night before your appointment. This will ensure that you get a good night’s rest and don’t feel as nervous when you come in.

  1. Sedation Can Even Help Those Who Aren’t Afraid of Dentistry

Don’t need drugs to brave your dental cleanings? That’s perfectly fine. But sedation can still come in handy if you’d like to get multiple lengthy procedures done in one day. This will spare you the need to return for more than one appointment.

How does sedation help? The medication will make it feel like hours of treatment were wrapped up within a few brief minutes.

Do you have any other questions about dental sedation that weren’t addressed? Your sedation dentist will be happy to clear things up. Call to schedule a consultation to learn more.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

Sep
9

What Kinds of Anesthesia/Sedation Are Available in the Dental Office?

Are you a nervous dental patient? Do you hate the idea of “drilling and filling?”

Dental anesthesia is your answer. The levels and types of anesthesia vary by practice. Additionally, what kind of anesthesia you need is determined by the procedure you’re having and the severity of your anxiety.

Here are some of the most common types of anesthesia and sedation options you’ll encounter in dentistry.

Local Anesthesia

Local anesthesia refers to the injections that directly numb your teeth or gums. Some injections can make one whole side of your face go numb while others focus on just a small portion of your mouth.

Local anesthesia agents can include:

  • Lidocaine
  • Septocaine
  • Bupivacaine
  • Prilocaine
  • Mepivacaine

Light Dental Sedation

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, is a very light sedative. You inhale this gas in a controlled dose to help you relax. It is instantly reversible and has no lasting side-effects.

Moderate Dental Sedation

Most dentists can write a prescription for oral sedatives. You take the medication before treatment to help you relax in advance and doze your way through the procedure.

A similar and sometimes slightly stronger level of sedation can be achieved when administered through an IV. This is very common in lengthy procedures such as multiple wisdom tooth extractions.

General Anesthesia

Often referred to as hospital sleep sedation, this kind of sedation is the one that will make you completely unconscious. Most general dental practices aren’t equipped to provide general anesthesia. This kind is best suited to procedures like oral surgery so oral surgeons and dentists who work out of hospitals may be able to provide general anesthesia or have a licensed anesthetist that does.

Ask a dentist near you about sedation options available that can improve your next dental procedure.

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

Jul
30

How Much Does Sedation Dentistry Cost?

You’ve heard a lot about sedation dentistry attention lately. Could “twilight” or “sleep” dentistry help you get a beautiful and healthy smile without discomfort and help alleviate dental phobia and anxiety?

Sedation dentistry is worth a try. Before you request it, however, you want to make sure it’s something you can afford.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry refers to treatment provided while the patient is relaxed and sleepy from medication. Laughing gas (nitrous oxide) is good for achieving mild sedative effects while oral and IV medications will have more profound drowsiness.

Average Costs for Dental Sedation

Dental sedation prices vary widely depending on geographic location. What you’ll pay also depends on the level of sedation you need. The price ranges for sedation dentistry can look something like this:

  • Laughing gas – $25-100 for a session
  • Oral sedatives – $150-500
  • IV sedation – $500-700

You’ll have to ask your dentist directly what they charge for various types of sedation.

Will Insurance Pay for Sedation Dentistry?

Dental insurance doesn’t typically cover sedation anesthesia. That may be an expense you have to cover out-of-pocket. In some cases, dentists will include sedation therapy at no additional charge if you’re scheduled to have a lot of dental treatment done at one time. Or it might be covered under your medical insurance instead.

The Real Value of Dental Sedation

Sedation dentistry might sound like a luxury, but it’s far more than just a convenient way to get doze through your next root canal. It’s actually a highly effective and necessary therapy for people who suffer from dental anxiety.

If you have a debilitating fear of dental treatment, then sedation may be worth any expense. Talk with your dentist to find out more about sedation dentistry options in your area.

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

Jun
21

4 Reasons to Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

“Twilight dentistry” or “sleep dentistry” are terms used to refer to treatment facilitated with the help of medications to reduce anxiety and pain sensitivity.

Here are four ways sedation dentistry could make a difference during your next dental procedure.

Sedation Will Make Your Treatment Go by Faster

Dental sedation makes you feel very sleepy and relaxed. It won’t make you go unconscious, but it does have an effect on your short-term memory. You may feel so tired that you won’t remember much of what happened during your treatment, although you will have been conscious at the time.

You’ll probably feel like you “woke up” after a brief nap to find that your two hour-long root canal is all done.

Sedation Will Make Your Treatment Safer

Anxiety can make you very nervous and tense. You might cringe and flinch when the dentist brings an instrument near your mouth. But sudden movements can be very dangerous in dentistry. The dentist can do a thorough, fast, and safe job, confident in his or her every movement, if you stay still and relaxed. Sedation can help you do just that and enjoy a safe procedure.

Sedation Spares You the Effects of Anxiety

Anxiety takes a massive toll on your body. Choose sedation to help you get through dental treatment and you won’t have to experience the tension, increased blood pressure, and digestive problems that can accompany stress.

Sedation Can Change Your View of Dental Treatment

One positive pain-free experience at the dental office could change your entire outlook on dentistry. With a more positive view, you’ll be motivated to get the treatment you need without fear or hesitation.

Ask your dentist whether sedation dentistry is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Soft Touch Dentistry
1214 Paragon Dr
O’Fallon, IL 62269
(618) 622-5050

Jun
19

How You Can Make Dental Injections Hurt Less

Thanks to those shots of anesthesia, you can get your necessary dental work done with relatively little discomfort.

Getting an injection in itself can be uncomfortable, however.

The good news is that it’s easy to make these dental shots quite more bearable. Here are a few tricks that can help.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

The more stressed you are, the less likely the anesthetic will even work. If you’re fully relaxed, the injection will probably not bother you, at all. You’ll also need less anesthesia over the course of treatment.

Ask for Topical Anesthetic

Most dentists routinely apply a topical numbing jelly to your gums right before giving the shot. This dulls the sensation of the needle and makes it easier to receive the shot. Some people may never feel their injection at all! Check with your dentist to make sure that there is a topical anesthetic at hand to prepare you.

Keep Your Eyes Closed

You can trust your dentist to give the injection carefully and in the gentlest way. Some patients even report that certain dentists are so gentle that they didn’t even feel the pinch of the injection. If you just keep your eyes closed, you won’t see the needle and won’t know exactly when it’s headed for your mouth (and it’ll all be over before you know it.)

Try Sedation Dentistry

Some people have a genuine phobia of needles and can’t tolerate dental injections no matter what they try.

If you suffer from that kind of intense anxiety, then you may be a candidate for dental sedation. Taking a sedative before your appointment can relax you so that dental injections are then easy and effective.

Ask your dentist which sedation and anesthesia options are safe for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Greencastle Dental
195 Greencastle Road
Tyrone, GA 30290
(770) 486-5585

May
20

Hate Going to the Dentist? Try Dental Sedation

Does the mere idea of going to the dentist fill you with anxiety?

Sedation could help you successfully endure your next dental procedure, no matter how “routine” it may seem.

What Is Dental Sedation?

Dental sedation is the use of medications to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during treatment.

Sedation isn’t the same as being unconscious. The medications used at the dental office come in oral, IV drip, or inhaled forms and they all simply help to relieve anxiety. Patients actually remain conscious even though they may not remember much of what happened during their appointment.

How Dental Sedation Works

Dental sedation medication is administered several minutes before the treatment starts, so that it has time to take effect. Some can even be taken the night before to alleviate extreme anxiety and help you get a good night’s rest.

Other kinds like the inhaled medication (laughing gas) take effect immediately.

Once you’re sedated, you’ll feel very relaxed and calm, perhaps even sleepy. Some people do fall asleep, but this isn’t the same as being unconscious. The goal is for you to be able to answer questions and respond to instructions during treatment.

Dental sedation helps people avoid the negative effects of anxiety and have safe dental treatment.

Is Dental Sedation Right for You?

Dental sedation can help almost anyone have a better experience at the dental office, but it isn’t right for everyone.

Your dentist will talk with you about safe options for you to choose from, and discuss the precautions to take. As long as you honestly disclose all of your health conditions and current medications, your dentist can make a safe recommendation about sedation.

Contact your dentist today to learn more about dental sedation possibilities.

Posted on behalf of:
Pure Smiles Dentistry
2655 Dallas Highway Suite 510
Marietta, GA 30064
770.422.8776

May
18

Here’s What to Expect When You Get Laughing Gas

Nitrous oxide, perhaps better known as “laughing gas,” is a very common sedation dentistry option.

Has your dentist recommended laughing gas to help you stay calm during treatment? If it’s your first time to use it, here’s what you can expect:

Setting Up Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide is a combination of nitrogen and oxygen. These are mixed together and the ratio is adjusted just until the point that the nitrogen has a mild sedative effect on you. The two gases come in separate canisters and piped in to or on a cart next to the dental chair.

To breathe it in, the dentist will place a soft rubber hood over your nose. This nosepiece has a small tube coming out of either side. One hose pipes in the gases and the other suctions away whatever you exhale. The air current inside the nosepiece feels cold, but it’s safe to inhale.

Laughing Gas Effects

You’ll be instructed to breathe in and out only through your nose. This prevents excess nitrogen from escaping into the environment.

As the dentist increases the nitrogen, you might feel a bit light-headed. In rare occasions, patients can feel a little panicky or nauseous, but this quickly passes. Once the laughing gas kicks in, you’ll suddenly feel very light, as if you could fly; the goal is so that you don’t care about much else going on around you!

Other common effects include:

  • Dulled hearing
  • Giddiness
  • Numb or tingling limbs
  • Reduced anxiety
  • Increased pain tolerance

You should feel very relaxed, carefree, and remain conscious throughout your entire procedure. The dentist and certified team will monitor you closely the entire time.

Recovery from Laughing Gas

Happily, there are no serious effects from laughing gas. You may feel a bit dizzy or sleepy afterwards, but these quickly wear off.

Ask your dentist about making your next laughing gas dental procedure a safe and successful one.

Posted on behalf of:
Mansouri Family Dental Care & Associates
4720 Lower Roswell Rd
Marietta, GA 30068
(770) 973-8222

May
15

Five Reasons to Ask for Nitrous Oxide During Your Next Appointment

Nitrous oxide, aka “laughing gas” has been safely used in dental offices across the country for decades. Here are five reasons why: 

You Have Sensitive Teeth 

Laughing gas can be turned on before it’s time to numb your teeth, allowing it to take effect before the local anesthetic is injected or has time to start working. 

You Tend to Have a Sensitive Gag Reflex, Too 

If the idea of having someone work on your teeth already gives you a tickle in the back of your throat, you’re not the only one who is worried about it — your dentist is, too! A sensitive gag reflex is difficult for everyone, and your dentist wants to work efficiently. Adding nitrous oxide can help to calm the gagging sensations involved. 

You’re a Little Nervous 

It’s normal to feel nervous about having any type of a procedure done, even if you love your dentist! Laughing gas helps to reduce your anxiety, so that you can feel calm while catching up on the treatment you know you really need. 

The Appointment Might Last Longer than Usual 

Maybe you want to have a couple of treatments combined into one appointment, or it’s the first time to get a crown (and you’re only used to fillings.) With nitrous oxide, you won’t care as much about what’s going on, so the extra time won’t be a problem. 

You Want Sedation, Without the Down Time

With laughing gas, you get all of the effects of a mild analgesic without being “completely knocked out.” Plus, the gas wears off quickly once it’s turned down, allowing you to be level headed enough to drive yourself home afterward without any lingering drowsiness.

Ask your dentist to add laughing gas onto your next appointment!

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

Apr
17

5 Alternatives to Dental Sedation

Dental sedation is often the perfect solution for those who struggle with dental anxiety or dental phobia. But if you feel safer pursuing non-medicated treatment, what are your options?

Here are some effective and drug-free alternatives to having dental sedation.

  1. Aromatherapy

Many patients love the naturally soothing effect of essential oils. You can put a couple drops on your wrists or a neck pillow to sniff when you start to feel overwhelmed at the dental office.

  1. Talk Out Your Anxiety

Plan a meeting with the dentist to voice your concerns. You will likely find that just being able to express your fears will give you more control over them. You will also feel better knowing that the dentist knows how you feel. Your dentist will reassure you of what you can expect in treatment and how he or she can help you feel better.

  1. Practice Slow Deep Breathing

Breathing exercises are a great way to distract the mind and slow down your heart rate.

  1. Set Up Signals with Your Dentist

Ask your dentist how you can non-verbally express your need for a break during treatment. If you communicate about this in advance, you can avoid that gripping panic during a procedure and calmly signal the dentist.

  1. Eat a Balanced Breakfast

You’ll have a hard time controlling a runaway and anxious imagination on an empty stomach. But neither should you overindulge on heavy and greasy foods. Eat something nutritious and staying to give you lots of positive energy during a dental appointment.

Need more help in overcoming your dental anxiety? Contact a dentist near you to get some personalized suggestions and encouragement.

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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