Dental Tips Blog


Contraindications for Sedation Dentistry

Most people like the idea of being “put to sleep” during a dental procedure.  You can get all of your dental work done without even knowing or caring about what is going on!  Sedation dentistry or being “put to sleep” is considered to be safe for helping patients relax during dental procedures.  There are some situations, however, where sedation dentistry should not be used.

Here is a list of some conditions where sedation is not recommended:

Pregnancy- Pregnant patients should not have sedation dentistry because the drugs used can be harmful to the unborn baby.

Diabetics- Diabetic patients are generally not good candidates for sedation dentistry because of how drastic their blood sugar changes can be.  If they have their diabetes under control, however, they could be a good candidate.

Certain Medications/Recreational Drugs- If you take drugs for conditions such as anxiety, your body may not respond to the medications used for sedation.  If you use recreational drugs, those are very unpredictable and if mixed with sedation drugs, it could cost you your life.

Liver and Kidney Diseases- These patients have difficulty metabolizing the sedation drugs so they usually are not good candidates for sedation dentistry unless they are cleared to do so by their medical doctor.

Respiratory Disorders- Breathing disorders like asthma and bronchitis are not good candidates because sedation drugs can interfere with your body’s normal breathing.

Are you interested in sedation dentistry for your next dental procedure?  Call your dentist who offers sedation dentistry as an option.  You will be able to schedule a consultation with your dentist to discuss whether or not sedation dentistry is right for you.

Posted on behalf of:
Spanaway Family Dentistry
20709 Mountain Hwy E #101
Spanaway, WA 98387
(253) 948-0880



The Wand Oral Anesthesia

Posted in Fillings

Have you ever heard of “The Wand?” It’s a revolutionary new way for dentists to anesthetize their patients for their fillings, crowns, root canals, and other dental procedures. One of the biggest benefits is that it makes the administration of local anesthesia much more comfortable than a traditional injection. What a lot of people think is painful during anesthetic administration isn’t the actual penetration of the “shot”; it’s the ability to aspirate the medication gently into the patient’s tissues.

The Wand is a computerized anesthesia delivery system that aspirates medication in an almost completely painless way. The pen-like piece of equipment has an extremely small needle…. in fact, it’s one of the smallest needles that can be used for local anesthetic. As the computer slowly distributes the medication, there is less discomfort and inflammation at the injection site. A “pain free” injection is almost completely assured! This reduces both anxiety on the patient, as well as pressure on the dentist for a gentle injection.

Anesthetic results from The Wand are only effective in the area immediately around the application. That means there are no numb lips, cheeks, or tongue for hours after your treatment. Patients receive immediate results, without the annoying discomfort of full anesthetic blocks for the rest of the day.

The Wand can be used for a large number of dental treatments, but not all. You’ll need to discuss your anesthesia options with your dentist at the time of your treatment plan to find out if The Wand is an option for you. If you’ve put that filling off, don’t wait any longer. Enjoy a painless, fast, no-hassle way to stay comfortable during your next dental visit.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Joyce Ma, Prime Dental Care



Advantages of Sedation Dentistry

For many people their fear of the dentist does not fade as they grow older. Many adults put off dental appointments because of the anxiety they feel about visiting the dentist. Luckily for them, sedation dentistry now allows appropriately trained dentists to create a comfortable and safe dental experience. By creating a more comfortable environment, dentists are seeing more and more adults who have avoided the dentist out of fear come back for dental exams and cleanings.

Any type of sedative is a medication that helps patients relax by slowing the action of the central nervous system. For people who need help relaxing, an oral sedative can be used in the dentist’s office to simply help people remain calm during their appointment. For many, the sound of the dentist’s drill or the sight/smell of the materials causes anxiety and does not make for an optimal appointment. Not only can a person not relax, but dentists and dental hygienists can not do their job well. Sedatives allow the appointment to be successful for both the patients and dental professionals.

Some people find that they need more than just an oral sedative. They do not want to be aware of anything going on, no matter how relaxed they may feel. IV sedation is available at some dental practices. This method of sedation allows for the patient to be put fully under so that s/he does not have any awareness of her/his surroundings. Patients and dentists are both able to have a successful cleaning, without the difficulties that fear and anxiety produce.

If you need to see the dentist but are anxious or afraid of making or keeping your appointment, call your dental office to enquire about their sedation options. You may find that maintaining your optimal oral health is easier with sedation dentistry. And remember, optimal oral health promotes optimal health for your entire body.

Posted on behalf of Dr. Byron Scott, Springhill Dental Health Center




Is Painless Dentistry the New Norm?

For generations, the term “painless dentistry” was considered an oxymoron similar to “military intelligence” or “jumbo shrimp”, but modern dentistry has come a long way in recent years and most dental work should now be virtually pain free and comfortable.  There is no longer any need to fear going to the dentist or to suffer through an uncomfortable, painful dental procedure.

Modern dental care is far more comfortable than most adults are used to experiencing in part because of advances in dental care and in part because dentists have recognized that pain, discomfort, and dental anxiety stem from the perception that dentistry is supposed to be uncomfortable or painful.  After all, that’s the experience of generations of dental patients who have endured dental care rather than welcomed it.

Dentists have addressed that perception by creating a soothing, comforting environment in the dental office.  Gone is the whine of the air powered drill, replaced by quiet electric drills.  Many dentists offer soothing music or even television for the patient to enjoy during their dental procedure.  Waiting rooms at modern dentists’ offices look and feel more like a waiting room at the spa than a dental office.  Today, dentists understand that a relaxed patient is a comfortable patient.

For many patients, the injection of novocain was the most painful and dreaded part of any dental procedure.  Improvements in injection techniques have made numbing the area to be worked on virtually pain free.  Most dentists use topical numbing agents so patients don’t feel the “stick”.  In addition, the discomfort from the injection is usually due to injecting the novocain too fast and many dentists use computer controlled injectors instead of a syringe so that the novocain is administered slowly and comfortably.

The widespread use of sedation also increases comfort and decreases anxiety.  The attitude in the old days was that sedation was for dental “wimps”, but now most dentists offer nitrous oxide and oral or intravenous sedation as needed to provide a comfortable dental experience.

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