What You Need To Know About Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is where oral treatment is provided to patients who are too afraid to visit the dentist to receive dental care by providing an anxiety-free and relaxing experience. Through this option, patients with a dental phobia can receive the dental care they require as it helps mitigate their anxiety since they are sedated through the process.

According to DOCS or the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation, which is a professional dental organization that is dedicated to ensuring that patients enjoy anxiety-free, comfortable and safe dental care, about 30% of Americans avoid visiting their dentist because they are afraid of the pain they will experience during a dental procedure. Dental phobia is real and makes it hard for a lot of people to receive the necessary routine oral care, compromising the functionality and health of their mouth.

What’s Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation is the process of establishing a comfortable, calm and relaxed state through the use of a sedative. Sedatives are drugs like depressants, tranquilizers, nitrous oxide, or anti-oxide medications that are administered through various methods to relax a patient. In the past, IV or intravenous sedation, where sedatives are delivered via injection into blood vessels of the arm or hand, was the most common delivery method when it came to dental sedation.

While IV sedation is effective and safe when administered by a professional, there are new methods that have proven conducive for providing a relaxing experience. Today, patients can be sedated via alternatives of traditional inhalation modalities, which offer a “no needle” approach that a lot of people prefer.

Oral sedation is now one of the most commonly used techniques in the US and is an easy approach that requires no use of needles. Furthermore, the medications used to create such conducive experiences, that most patients don’t remember their visit it’s like they slept through their treatment. However, during oral sedation dentistry, patients maintain a level of consciousness for their own safety and for cooperation purposes.

It is worth noting that sedation is relatively different from the use of anesthetic injections. While some sedation options like nitrous oxide gas could raise a patient’s threshold for pain, a majority of dental treatment require that patients receive local anesthetic injections even when sedation techniques are being performed. The local anesthetic is used to temporarily block pain impulses from gum tissues and the affected teeth. This injection, however, will occur after the patient has already been sedated and is comfortable so they won’t remember or be bothered by the sensation of being injected.

Irrespective of the sedation dentistry option you receive, it’s vital that you have a caregiver accompany you as you go for the procedure.

The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

One of the main benefits of sedation dentistry is that it feels like the procedure only lasted a few minutes while in reality, it might have taken several hours to perform. As a result, complex procedures like extensive rebuilding or smile makeovers that often require more than one visit can be handled in fewer appointments.

If you’re reluctant of visiting the dentist because you are anxious or afraid of undergoing complicated or long dental procedures, then sedation dentistry can help make you feel more comfortable and at ease during treatment. Since sedation dentistry addresses most of the fears that keep a lot of people from visiting the dentist regularly, it makes it possible for patients who are afraid to receive routine care. This way, more people are less likely to allow oral health issues to build up to the point where drastic treatments are necessary.

Sedation Dentistry Candidates

Are you a little intimidated by dentists? This could be because of a general fear of noises and needles, or a negative experience. If that is the case, then your reasons are the perfect excuse for you to try oral sedation.

Other reasons why you should consider oral sedation dentistry are if your gag reflex is quite intense, which could make your appointment rather uncomfortable and challenging. Another reason why people avoid visiting the dentist is that they are embarrassed by their oral health. This option could also work well for you if you need some cosmetic dentistry or an extensive amount of work done on your teeth and need it done at once because of a busy schedule.

If you relate with any of the reasons mentioned above, then you are a good candidate for sedation dentistry.

The Benefits and Risks of Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry provides several benefits that patients will appreciate. Not only will you rest as you receive the dental treatment you are in need of, but it will also save you time since you can have extensive procedures performed in a single appointment. Furthermore, when you wake up, you feel refreshed and with a healthier smile.

Since anesthesia presents some risks, people with medical conditions like obesity, sleep apnea, and the likes should make sure that they talk to their doctor before undergoing an oral sedation dentistry procedure.

And remember, sedation dentistry is just one way that dentists fix your cavities.

Having Sedation Dentistry Performed

Most dental doctors can perform minor sedation procedures, but it will take a professional dentist who’s specially certified to perform sedation dentistry to work on extensive or complex sedation procedures. Since oral sedation is a complex technique, make sure that your dentist is someone who has gone through a deep sedation program and is a qualified oral sedation specialist.

If you think that sedation dentistry could benefit you, then contact your local sedation dentistry specialist today for more on the procedure and to schedule a consultation.

How to Protect Your Teeth From Cavities During the Holiday Season

clean your teeth at the dentist

The holiday season is one of joy, cheer, and family. It’s also a time for delicious food and sugary sweets. And when you have access to lots of yummy treats, the last thing on your mind may be cavities and tooth decay. However, you want to make sure that you are protecting your teeth before there is any damage done so that you can enjoy the holidays and focus on what is really important this time of year. In this article, we will share with you some helpful tips and tricks on making sure that your teeth stay cavity-free during the holiday season.

1. Be Choosy About What You Eat

This is the time of year when lots of sugary desserts are rampant – from homemade cookies and cake to store bought pies and candies, it seems the temptations never end!

So what is the course of action to take in order to avoid cavities? Be selective when it comes to the treats you decide to eat. As the old saying goes, “everything in moderation.” There is nothing wrong with helping yourself to one or two small items when dessert time rolls around. But keep it minimal.

Another tip?

Don’t indulge in something that you can enjoy at any time throughout the year. For example, if you are presented with a certain kind of store bought candy, perhaps you should take a pass on it. But if Aunt Sarah brings her famous cherry pie, why not have one small slice?

2. Timing is Everything

If you do decide to eat something sugary – and let’s face it, the holidays call for a treat or two – indulge right after eating a meal or as part of your meal. The reason? Saliva begins to be produced more when you eat and helps to wash away acid, bacteria, and particles of food.

3. Keep Water Handy

A huge mistake that a lot of us make when we are eating is to complement the meal with soda, juice, or something else that is full of sugar. Again, if you decide you want to indulge a little, moderation is a very good thing. But the best course of action when avoiding cavities during the holidays is to wash down your meals with water. Water is the best liquid that we can introduce to our bodies, and it aids in washing your mouth out regardless of what you have eaten.

4. Re-Think Sticky Snacks

Problems with cavities arise when food particles, as well as sugar, remain stuck to the teeth before we have time to brush or rinse them away.

Therefore, it is a good idea to avoid sticky snacks such as dried fruit. Fresh fruit or items that do not cling to teeth are better options for the longevity of your teeth. If you simply cannot resist a sticky snack, be sure to rinse your mouth shortly thereafter or get to the bathroom to brush.

5. Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum works to cleanse your teeth by producing more saliva. And, as mentioned previously, more saliva aids your mouth in keeping your teeth rinsed of bacteria and food particles. If you have wrapped up in holiday cheer loved ones, you may not have the time or ability to rush to the bathroom and brush your teeth every time you eat a meal or a snack.

Keeping some gum on hand to use after meals can make a huge difference in chasing away those pesky cavities. And gum that is sugar-free works hand-in-hand with fighting off tooth decay by not introducing another harmful factor to the health of your teeth.

6. Don’t Overlook the Effects of Alcohol

During the holidays, we want to have a great time with our loved ones and kick back a little. But alcohol is a sneaky place where a lot of sugar resides, plus alcohol can dry your mouth out. It’s a good idea to limit yourself to one or two drinks, and even with that amount, you can’t go wrong with having some water handy.

7. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

Even during the holiday season, it is important to carve out the time to take care of your mouth. Ideally, you should be brushing twice per day, using mouthwash, and flossing daily. If you can, brush after every meal, but especially do not go to bed before having brushed your teeth.

Flossing once daily before bed also ensures that any food trapped between your teeth does not sit there and begin to cause tooth decay. If you plan to travel for the holidays, bring a small travel case with you that contains everything you need to care for your oral hygiene.

The holidays are special, and, of course, you want to be focused on what truly matters rather than pesky cavities. Use these tips to avoid tooth decay and create holiday memories that will last for a lifetime.

To learn more read our post: How Do Dentists Fix Cavities?

 

Does Mouthwash Really Make A Difference In Cleaning Teeth?

Mouthwash is claimed to fight off cavities, bad breath, and gingivitis, but is there any downside to swishing your mouth on a daily basis? Here’s a look at everything you need to know about mouthwash and if it can make a difference.

durham dentist recommends mouthwash

The dental routine for most people goes something like – brush, floss and finally rinse with mouthwash. For most of them, if they forget to these, something does not feel right, especially if they do not experience that delightful mint taste in their mouth. However, some people wonder: is it necessary to use mouthwash on a daily basis?

When appropriately used, mouthwash can help prevent tooth decay and oral disease. However, do you need to use mouthwash daily to enjoy optimal oral health? Is mouthwash good for your teeth?

The answer to these questions is both no and yes.

Here is a look at the pros and cons of using mouthwash and everything you need to know about rinsing your teeth with mouthwash every day.

Types of Mouthwash

Interestingly, almost half of Americans suffer from bad breath. While it seems like offering half of America’s population mouthwash should help solve this problem, the fascinating thing is that using mouthwash is not that simple. Why? Because there’s a variety of mouthwash options available that promote various oral health aspects, which makes it hard to decide what type of mouthwash to get. So, what kind of mouthwash should you go for? That depends on your orals needs. Here is a look at the four basic kinds of mouthwash available:

Desensitizing Mouthwash

If you have tooth sensitivity, then a desensitizing mouth containing Arginine is what to go for. The substance is claimed to seal off the sensitive parts of dentinal tubules. However, before using this wash, consider consulting your dentist for the best results.

Fluoride Rinse: This kind of mouthwash is best for added tooth decay protection and contains about .05 percent Sodium Fluoride and is ideal for people who have trouble fighting off cavities.

Cosmetic Mouthwash: Cosmetic mouthwash does not necessarily fight germs in your mouth; however, it will leave your breath fresh and minty. Sadly, cosmetic mouthwashes only mask the bad smell and do not remove the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Whitening Mouthwash: One way to whiten your teeth is by using whitening mouthwash. This kind of washes contains a bleaching agent known as hydrogen peroxide which is known to remove stains and whiten teeth over time.

Anti-Plaque Mouthwash: Anti-plaque mouthwashes inhibit the accumulation of plaque, inhibiting gingivitis, which is when the gums become inflamed. The active ingredients in this mouthwash include Triclosan, Chlorhexidine, Thymol, etc.

The Pros of Using Mouthwash
Fresher Breath
There is not a better way to starting your day than with a fresh and minty breath. Some of the mouthwashes available not only add that refreshing fragrance, but they also eliminate the bacteria responsible for causing bad breath.

Fights Gum Disease
The plaque will naturally build up on your teeth from food and teeth. Gums and tooth sockets may get infected and inflamed if left untreated, and this may result in gingivitis or periodontal diseases.

Soothes Canker Sores and Mouth Ulcers
According to dentists and dental experts, using mouthwash can help ease canker sores since they detox the affected area, reducing or eliminating the bacteria that could irritate the site. Rinsing with some salt water is also very effective for mouth ulcers and canker sores.

Safeguard Pregnancy
Since hormonal changes may lead to higher risks of gingivitis, pregnant ladies are often at high risk during their pregnancy. According to a study conducted by the University of Maryland Medical Center, bacterial infections known to cause severe periodontal diseases may increase the chances of low birth weights in infants and may also cause premature delivery.

Reduce Chances of Cavities
Fluoride has been known to reduce demineralization by protecting and strengthening tooth enamel.

The Cons of Using Mouthwash

Likely Links to Oral Cancer
There is currently a debate on whether there are links between the use of mouthwash with alcohol and the increasing cases of people developing oral cancer. While some experts suggest the use of mouthwash to kill gingivitis-causing germs, it is advisable that you consult with your dentist before mouthwash products containing alcohol.

Increased Tooth Sensitivity
Alcohols present in some of the mouthwashes on the market will gradually, over time, dissolve the mucus layer of the teeth, leaving them vulnerable something that may lead to greater sensitivity.

Reduces The Benefits Of Toothpaste
It is believed that there could be an interaction between chemicals in the mouthwash and in toothpaste. As a result, both could be canceling out each other’s benefits. It is, therefore, advisable that you leave a 30-minute gap between brushing and rinsing with mouthwash.

Using mouthwash on a regular basis can be beneficial to oral health. However, to reap the benefits of rinsing with mouthwash, make sure that you use it as intended. According to specialists, you should consider using mouthwash if you have bad breath, dental decay, or gum disease. If you have good oral health, intermittent use of mouthwash is recommended and will make a difference. Nevertheless, how often you rinse with mouthwash and the kind of mouthwash you use is all up to you. Though, consider consulting with your dentist for advice on how often to rinse and what type of mouthwash to use.

Also be sure to read our post on How dentists fix cavities: http://amerasianfoundation.org/how-do-dentists-fix-cavities/

A New Beginning

Thank you for visiting.  We are getting started fresh for the New Year.  We are building our website now and while we don’t have a lot of great content for you yet, please check back with us.

We are in the process of building this website now.  We are going to put some work in over the holiday break so that we can get the new year off to a great new start.

 

So, please excuse our construction.  There’s not much to look at right now.  But we plan to build a great and interesting and informative resource for you.