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Sedation Dentistry – The Most Comfortable Way for Dental Treatments

November 24, 2014

Despite a distressing pain in the tooth, many prefer not to go to the dentist. People often renounce dental visit due to the discomfort that accompanies various dental procedures. Dental anxiety might also be due to an unpleasant past experience. In either way, people neglect dental visit and try to be their own doctor, using over-the-counter medications in order to cope up with the toothache. Over-the-counter medications may offer temporary relief. When the pain comes back, however, patients certainly need to take some serious steps. One should not ignore dental problems as they factor toward the quality of life. If ignored for prolonged period, dental problems may also create serious health complications. Therefore, consulting a dentist should never be ignored.

If you are one of those who find it difficult to go to the dentist only because of the discomfort associated with a dental procedure, you might want to consider comfortable sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

As the name suggests, sedation dentistry involves administering dental patients with sedatives, the medications that enable mild to deep relaxation. The sedatives help calm anxious patients and bring them to a relaxed state for the successful completion of dental treatments. One should not mistake sedation dentistry with procedures performed under local anesthesia. Dental procedures performed under local anesthesia fall under the branch of sleep dentistry. Unlike sleep dentistry, which puts patients into deep sleep, sedation dentistry just reduces consciousness, making patients feel and remember less of what happened during the procedure.

Sedatives can range from N2O (nitrous oxide / laughing gas) to mild tranquilizers, which help reduce consciousness. Sedatives are available in different forms such as inhalants, tablets, or medicines that qualified dentists inject intravenously. The type of sedative and the proportion to be used is ascertained by a qualified dentist based on the patient’s age, health history and anxiety levels. Aside from keeping the patient calm, the added bonus of sedation dentistry is that it enables dentists to perform more than one procedure in a single appointment.

There are three common levels of sedation:

•    A minimal sedation where a dentist can simply calm the patient down
•    A moderate sedation where a dentist can get the patient in a trance-like state (a state where speech becomes slurred and mind too relaxed to remember much of the procedure)
•    A deep sedation where a dentist can put the patient into the most comfortable state (a state where a patient borders between consciousness and unconsciousness)

Dental treatments have progressed remarkably, whereby they are able to meet individualized needs in the safest and the most comfortable environments. Sedation dentistry too has progressed along the same lines. Dentists have always utilized medicines for pain management before and after procedures, but sedation dentistry takes a step farther. Sedation dentistry helps patients stay in a relaxed state, and at the same time, provides the dentist a better control of the situation.

The key to a better dental treatment, whether it is through sedation or otherwise, is a qualified, experienced dentist. It is vital to choose a certified and skilled sedation dentist. Further, when booking your appointment for sedation dental treatment, ensure to make arrangements with someone to accompany you to the dentist’s clinic. The sedatives make you drowsy; hence, it is not safe to drive on your own.

Teeth Whitening – Always Consult an Experienced Cosmetic Dentist

November 17, 2014

There are many clichés about the importance of a healthy, bright smile. Therefore, it is no wonder that why teeth whitening is the most common and frequently-requested procedure from a cosmetic dentist. Teeth whitening is a very simple procedure, which a dentist can perform in his or her office, or you can do it at your home, and there are many ways in which you can maintain your newly brightened smile.

If you think your teeth are discolored and need professional teeth whitening, you should consult with a reputable cosmetic dentist to discuss the options that are best for you. It is to be expected that the dentist will advise one of the several professional dental treatments, which can be performed safely and easily in the office or at home. The quickest and the most effective option is in-office whitening. Your dentist will first apply a special protective gel on your gums, followed by a bleaching solution on your teeth. The dentist will then use a dental laser to expedite the action of bleaching solution. The entire in-office whitening treatment will take no more than sixty minute. You may need more than one in-office whitening session in order to achieve the results you desire, but you will indeed notice impressive result after the first session itself.

There is also a teeth whitening option that you can perform in the convenience of your home. For at-home whitening treatment, your dentist will create a custom-fit mouth tray that you need to wear with a bleaching material in it. The results through at-home teeth whitening treatment are slow, but the treatment itself is affordable.

Whether you decide to go for an in-office whitening or at-home whitening, it is necessary to consult with an experienced dentist. Bleaching materials used by someone inexperienced can cause damage to your enamel and gums.

Once you have received the tooth whitening treatment from an experienced cosmetic dentist, there are many ways in which you can maintain bright smile. A professional cleaning every six months is one important way to care for your bright teeth. Routine cleanings thwart plaque and tartar buildup, and contribute toward better health of your mouth and gums. Brushing and flossing every day is a cardinal part of routine oral hygiene that prevents cavities and keeps gums in good shape. Regularly brushing and flossing even remove plaque before it has any chance to cause tooth discoloration.

The food you eat also plays an important role in maintaining a healthy smile. Eating crunchy vegetables and fruits like carrots and apples help fight stains. The abrasiveness of crunchy foods naturally cleans the tooth’s surface and stimulates the production of saliva that helps fight bacteria. Further, avoid consuming acidic foods and beverages, such as berries, soy, tomato, tea, coffee, wine, and so on. They can leave stain on your teeth.

Professional teeth whitening can give you bright, white smile, and a good oral hygiene regimen can help you maintain that beautiful smile. Always consult with an experienced cosmetic dentist for a solution that meets your unique needs.

How a Dentist can Help Repair a Chipped or Broken Tooth

March 24, 2014

You are crunching a hard candy or a cube of ice when you suddenly feel something solid in your mouth that does not taste, dissolve, or melt. Out of curiosity, you see what it could be and get a gross feeling as you recognize that it is… a small piece of your tooth.

The enamel that encompasses your teeth is certainly hard (the hardest substance in the body, in fact), but its strength has limits. Falling on your face, receiving a hard blow to the jaw, or biting on something very hard (especially if the tooth has some decay) can cause a tooth to splinter or break. If in case you realize you have chipped or broken a tooth accidentally, do not worry; there are several things your dentist can do to fix a chipped or broken tooth.

You need to see your dentist at the earliest when you realize you have chipped, broken, or fractured your tooth. If you do not seek immediate assistance, your tooth could become infected or damaged further, which may cause you to lose your tooth entirely. In the meanwhile – before you can reach to your dentist’s office – you can try the below self-care measures.

  • If it is too painful, take an over-the-counter pain reliever. Before you take the pain reliever, however, thoroughly rinse your mouth with salt water.
  • If the chip has caused a pointed or sharp edge, cover it with a sugarless chewing gum. This helps protect the inside of your lips or cheek, as well as your tongue from cutting.
  • If you need to eat, eat only soft foods, and refrain biting down on the damaged tooth.

The treatment for a chipped or broken tooth depends on how badly it is damaged. If it is only a little chip, your dentist will repair it in the matter of a few hours. A severely damaged or broken tooth, however, may require multiple visits to your dentist. The cost of repairs in such cases is high, as well. Below are some ways, which your dentist may employ to fix a chipped or broken tooth.

Filling or Bonding

If it is just a small piece of your tooth enamel chipped, then your dentist may fix the damage with a dental filling. If it is the front side of your tooth or the side that other people see when you talk or smile, your dentist will use a bonding procedure.

The bonding procedure is simple, and it involves using a tooth-colored composite resin. To bond a chipped tooth, your dentist first scrapes its surface so that the bonding material can adhere to it. Then, your dentist will apply an adhesive material to the tooth’s surface. The bonding material then follows this. Your dentist will then shape the material so that it looks like a natural tooth. Finally, using an ultraviolet light, the dentist hardens the material.

Dental Crown or Cap

If a large piece of tooth splinters off, your dentist may grind away some part of the remaining healthy tooth and cover it with a dental crown or cap. This crown or tooth-shaped cap improves the appearance of the tooth, as well as protects it. Permanent crowns can be of metal (including gold and silver), all ceramic, all resin, or porcelain. Each type of crown has its own benefits. While metal crowns are the sturdiest, resin and porcelain crowns, look almost identical to the natural tooth. If the upper part of the tooth is ruined completely, yet its root remains unharmed, your dentist will probably place a metal post in the intact root to create a base on which the crown can rest.

To get a crown, you may require visiting your dentist a couple of times. On the first visit, your dentist will take several X-rays to determine if the roots of the tooth are intact. If they find no problem, they will numb the damaged tooth and gums surrounding it. They will then remove some of the remaining tooth to make a room for a crown. If the chip or break has left a big piece of tooth missing, your dentist may use a filling material to build up a structure to hold the crown. Using a putty-like material, your dentist will then make an impression of the damaged tooth, as well as the opposite tooth. The impression of both teeth is sent to a lab where a custom crown is made. For the time being, until your crown is getting ready, your dentist may place a temporary acrylic crown over your damaged tooth.

In your second visit, as scheduled by your dentist, your dentist will remove the temporary acrylic crown, and then fit the permanent crown by cementing it, over your broken or chipped tooth.

Root Canal

If a tooth break or chip is severe enough to expose the pulp, bacteria present in the mouth can permeate and infect the pulp. You will know whether your pulp is damaged or diseased, when your tooth hurts, becomes sensitive to heat, or changes color. The tissue of the pulp dies, and if it is not removed immediately, the tooth gets infected for which extraction becomes essential. The root canal is the procedure that involves removing the damaged pulp, cleaning the root canal thoroughly, and then sealing the canal.

Root Canal, unlike other treatments for chipped or broken tooth, is a painful treatment and, therefore, you need to go to a dentist who has various sedation dental options available.

Dental Veneers

If the front side of your tooth or the side that is visible when you talk or smile is chipped or broken, dental veneers can fix the problem. A dental veneer is a thin tooth-colored wafer of porcelain or resin composite material that covers the entire front side of the tooth.

For dental veneers, your dentist will first remove 0.3 to 1.2 mm of enamel from the front surface of your tooth. The dentist will then make an imprint of the tooth. The imprint will be sent to a dental lab where a custom veneer will be made. After the veneer is ready, in a week or two, you will have to visit your dentist again to have it placed. Your dentist, to place the veneer, will first scrape the front surface of your tooth. Then, they will apply a cement to the veneer and place it over your tooth. Thereafter, using a special light, your dentist will make the cement harden quickly.

These are pretty much all the ways in which your dentist can help restore a chipped or broken tooth. If you are in Pennsylvania, requiring immediate assistance to fix chipped or broken tooth, Flenniken Family Dentistry can help you. Flenniken Family Dentistry, a team of good dentists in Pennsylvania, is an expert in repairing a chipped or broken tooth. Through various dental procedures, like dental filling, bonding, root canal therapy, applying veneers, and dental crowns, they can restore a chipped or broken tooth to its natural state. Aside from restorative dental treatments, Flenniken Family Dentistry also provides a wide range of general and cosmetic dental treatments.

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