Dental Tips Blog


Overcome Anxiety With Sedation Dentistry

Anxiety over visiting the dentist is causing a rise in oral health issues among many Americans today. Sedation dentistry is designed to provide comfort to patients whose fear of the dentist keeps them from regularly coming in for cleanings, check ups, and needed procedures. Oral conscious sedation is used during dental procedures to put patients in a more relaxed, yet still conscious, state. Sedation dentistry greatly reduces the body’s tendency to tense up, making dental procedures easier on both the patient and the dentist and/or hygienist. Sedation dentistry can also enable patients to have several procedures done at one time that would normally require multiple dental appointments.

Sedation dentistry is provided by specially trained and certified dental professionals to help patients maintain their oral health despite their fear and anxiety of visiting the dentist. Those individuals who allow fear to keep them from the dentist are endangering not only their oral health but their quality of life and overall health as well. Sedation medications, which have been proven safe and effective, leave the patient in a comfortable state so that dental appointments are successful.

If anxiety is keeping you from seeing the dentist, talk to your dental provider about sedation dentistry options to help calm your nerves so that you can maintain your oral health through proper treatment. With the help of sedation dental medications, you can be totally relaxed and unaware of the sights, sounds, and smells of the dental office. If that sounds like your ideal dental experience, call your dentist and talk with him/her about your anxiety and options.

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman



Sedation Dentists

There are many reasons why people choose to be sedated for a dental visit. Some parents choose sedation dentistry for their children who have extreme anxiety about sitting in the dentist’s chair and having their teeth scraped, poked, and cleaned. Adults often have dental phobia, and sedation dentistry helps them to relax during a cleaning.

Sedation dentists have also had a very high success rate in treating patients with physical or mental disabilities which makes it extremely difficult for them to handle a dental appointment. And there are also cosmetic and more complex procedures which warrant sedation to help alleviate pain and discomfort.

Contrary to some people’s opinions, sedation dentistry is not for the “weak” or “scared.” Sedation dentistry if helpful for many different reasons. Any issue that makes it challenging to receive dental care can be a detriment to good oral health. Dental phobia, a severe gag reflex, or general discomfort from a visit to the dentist can be helped by a sedation dentist. Sedation dentists understand the fear and anxiety that a cleaning, or having a cavity filled, or other procedures can cause. That is why they are compassionate and are specifically trained to administer oral sedatives in the comfort of a dental office.

Sedation dentists offer a full range of dental care for adults, children, and those with disabilities. From preventative care, to general cleanings, to restorative and cosmetic dental care, sedation dentists can provide the appropriate combination of local anesthesia and, if needed, oral sedatives to help patients relax and remain comfortable.

Posted on behalf of David Kurtzman




Reducing Dental Anxiety

Sometimes going to the dentist is just plain anxiety provoking.  Your heart beats faster, your palms sweat, and you feel a little shaky.  These are all normal signs of anxiety, and this happens to many Americans every day before going to the dentist.

Many dentists recognize that dental work causes anxiety in many clients, and that is why they offer sedation dentistry.  Many patients, however, are afraid to ask about sedation, fearing that they will need a ride to and from the dentist, won’t be able to function after the procedure, or that it may be dangerous.

One form of sedation dentistry involves using nitrous oxide.  Nitrous oxide is a simple gas that you breathe in through a mask (usually over your nose) that will help relax you.  It is safe for adults and children alike.  When you breathe the gas in, you become completely relaxed.  This makes the procedure more comfortable for you.  You do not feel any pain when the local anesthetic is administered.  And, you recover quickly.  Simply removing the nose piece and breathing in regular air for a few minutes allows full recovery.

When you receive nitrous oxide, you will remain completely awake.  You may experience a feeling of warmth or tingling, or even sensations of floating.  You can still communicate if needed.  Nitrous oxide is a very safe way to help provide relaxation to you during the dental treatment.

If you are anxious about your upcoming dental procedure, talk to your dentist about the use of nitrous oxide.  Your anxiety will be relieved, and when the procedure is over, you are free to go on your way.


Unable to Get Numb

For most dental patients, local anesthetics like Novocain that numb the area where the procedure will be performed provide complete numbing and as a result, the patient experiences little or no pain during the dental procedure.  However, a small percentage of dental patients have difficulty getting numb or cannot get numb at all.  If you are one of these patients, don’t put off getting the dental care you need.  There are options available to address any situation and putting off dental care will only make matters worse.

One possible cause of this phenomenon is that some dentists simply have poor numbing technique.  Numbing a tooth is more than just injecting anesthetic next to the tooth.  It has to be done properly to be effective and some dentists are better at it than others.  Giving the right amount of anesthetic in the right place and waiting for it to work can help.

Also, in a small percentage of patients, the nerve connections and pathways are different from most other patients and the local anesthetic may not be effective until the dentist finds the right place to inject it.  Some dentists are adept at numbing patients with these types of anatomical variations. Others lack the necessary patience.

Anxiety can also cause the local anesthetic to be less effective.  Most patients have at least a little anxiety, but some patients are very anxious about their dental procedure.  Oral or intravenous sedation can help relax these patients and provide for a painless dental experience.

I all else fails, there are dentists who specialize in dentistry under general anesthesia.  This is called sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry, or hospital sleep dentistry because the procedures are performed in a hospital operating room.

If you have had trouble getting numb in the past, talk to your dentist before your procedure about the options available to you.


Comfortable Dental Care With Sedation Dentistry

The days of every dental visit being an exercise in anxiety and discomfort are long gone.  No longer do you need to spend the entire visit with your heart racing while you grip the arms of the dental chair until you knuckles turn white.  Sedation dentistry has developed in recent years that ensures that every patient can have a comfortable, relaxed dental experience no matter what their anxiety level or other dental issues.

Sedation dentistry encompasses a wide range of sedation levels to fit the needs of every patient. The mildest form of sedation is the use of nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas.  For many patients, this is all that they need to relax and have a comfortable experience.  For patients who need further sedation, many dentists offer oral or intravenous conscious sedation.

With conscious sedation, the patient is very sedated, but still conscious. They can respond to questions although after the sedation wears off, most patients have no memory of the treatment.  Dental procedures under conscious sedation are usually performed in the dentist’s office.

The deepest level of sedation is fully unconscious sedation and these procedures are handled in a specially equipped surgical suite or in a hospital operating room.  Not all dentists practice the full range of sedation dentistry.  The deeper the level of sedation, the more additional training that the dentist is required to have and many dentists choose not to handle fully unconscious sedation.

However, relatively few dental patients need full, unconscious sedation. Most patients can have very comfortable, anxiety free dental care with the appropriate level of conscious sedation.  If you avoid getting regular dental care because of uncomfortable experiences in the past or if you have other issues that make getting regular dental care difficult, unpleasant or uncomfortable, talk to your dentist about the benefits of sedation dentistry.


General Anesthesia for Dental Care

Most people associate general anesthesia with a surgical procedure, but for some dental patients, dental care under general anesthesia is the only safe, comfortable way to get the dental care they need.  While many dentists offer milder forms of sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) and mild oral sedatives, only a few highly trained dental specialists offer dental care under general anesthesia (also called hospital sleep sedation dentistry).

These specially trained dentists provide a complete range of dental care  – everything from dental cleanings and check-ups to fillings, root canals, caps, veneers, bridges, and other dental procedures.  While dental care under general anesthesia may seem a little “over the top”, the reality is that hospital sleep dentistry provides much needed dental care for patients cannot get the care they need in any other way.

For example, many patients with a developmental disability cannot tolerate dental care in a traditional setting, even with the strongest conscious sedatives.  These patients often forgo dental care which seriously compromises their oral health as well as their overall health.  Hospital sleep dentistry provides a means for these patients to receive safe, comfortable dental care that helps maintain their oral health and improves their quality of life.

Other patients suffer from uncontrollable dental phobia that is so severe that hospital sleep dentistry is the only way they can receive dental care.  Other candidates for hospital sleep dentistry include patients who are allergic to novocaine or who cannot get numb with novocaine or other analgesics.  Some patients have medical conditions that make it uncomfortable or even impossible to tolerate dental care in a traditional dental setting.

For all of these patients and more, hospital sleep dentistry offers a solution – safe, anxiety free, comfortable dental care in a hospital operating room under full anesthesia.

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