Posts for: August, 2015
Did you know 50% of people admit to some form of anxiety visiting the dentist, with roughly 1 in 6 avoiding dental care altogether because of it? To ease anxiety dentistry has developed sedation methods that help patients relax during dental treatment.
Many can achieve relaxation with an oral sedative taken about an hour before a visit. Some with acute anxiety, though, may need deeper sedation through an intravenous (IV) injection of medication. Unlike general anesthesia which achieves complete unconsciousness to block pain, IV sedation reduces consciousness to a controllable level. Patients aren’t so much “asleep” as in a “semi-awake” state that’s safe and effective for reducing anxiety.
While there are a variety of IV medications, the most popular for dental offices are the benzodiazepines, most often Midazolam (Versed). Benzodiazepines act quickly and wear off faster than similar drugs, and have a good amnesic effect (you won’t recall details while under its influence). While relatively safe, they shouldn’t be used with individuals with poor liver function because of their adverse interaction with liver enzymes.
Other drugs or substances are often used in conjunction with IV sedation. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) may be introduced initially to help with anxiety over the IV needle stick. Sometimes pain-reducing drugs like Fentanyl may be added to the IV solution to boost the sedative effect and to reduce the amount of the main drug.
If we recommend IV sedation for your dental treatment, there are some things you should do to help the procedure go smoothly and safely. Because the after effects of sedation may impair your driving ability, be sure you have someone with you to take you home. Don’t eat or drink anything after midnight the day before your appointment, and consult with both your physician and dentist about taking any prescription medication beforehand. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and don’t wear contact lenses, oral appliances like dentures or retainers, watches or other jewelry.
Our top priority is safety — we follow strict standards and protocols regarding IV sedation and you’ll be carefully monitored before, during and after your procedure. Performed with the utmost care, IV sedation could make your next dental procedure pleasant and uneventful, and impact your oral health for the better.
Give your smile a fighting chance against dental decay when you choose dental sealants.
When it comes to brushing and flossing your teeth you may not think about it often but it can be a challenge maneuvering around your molars to properly clean them. When this happens you leave plaque sitting on your teeth, which can lead to decay. Luckily your Worth, IL dentist has an easy way to protect teeth that are more susceptible to cavities.
What are dental sealants?
Dental sealants are plastic, tooth-colored coatings that are placed over the chewing surfaces of the molars, or back teeth where decay is more likely to form. These sealants are designed to prevent cavities from forming on the hard-to-reach grooves of the tooth.
How will my Worth, IL dentist place dental sealants?
Getting dental sealants is a simple and painless process. In just one visit you can arm your smile with additional protection against decay. Since this procedure is non-invasive you won’t even need anesthesia or pain medication.
First your Worth, IL dentist will thoroughly clean your teeth prior to placing your sealants. Then an acid solution is placed on the chewing surface of your molars for a few seconds before being rinsed off. This solution will cause the surface of your tooth to become rough, which will make it easier for the sealant to attach. Once the tooth is dried, the liquid sealant can then be painted on. Lastly, a special laser is directed at your molars to harden the sealant. In only a few minutes, you could get the additional protection you need against cavities!
Who can get dental sealants?
Since sealants are often applied once molars have erupted, children tend to be the perfect candidates for sealants; however, this doesn’t mean that teens and even adults can’t benefit from this preventive procedure. Talk to your Worth, IL dentist about whether dental sealants could be a great option for your smile.
How long do dental sealants last?
With the proper hygiene dental sealants can last up to 10 years. If you want to keep dental sealants healthy it’s also important to keep up with six-month checkups where we can make sure your sealants haven’t become damaged or chipped. Your Worth, IL dentist can easily repair damaged sealants.
Think your child or teen could benefit from dental sealants? We certainly think they could! If you want to protect your child’s smile from decay then let your Worth, IL dentist know that you’re interested in sealants when your child’s comes in for their six-month cleaning. All Smiles puts your family’s smiles first!
Fans of the primetime TV show The Middle were delighted to see that high school senior Sue, played by Eden Sher, finally got her braces off at the start of Season 6. But since this popular sitcom wouldn’t be complete without some slapstick comedy, this happy event is not without its trials and tribulations: The episode ends with Sue’s whole family diving into a dumpster in search of the teen’s lost retainer. Sue finds it in the garbage and immediately pops it in her mouth. But wait — it doesn’t fit, it’s not even hers!
If you think this scenario is far-fetched, guess again. OK, maybe the part about Sue not washing the retainer upon reclaiming it was just a gag (literally and figuratively), but lost retainers are all too common. Unfortunately, they’re also expensive to replace — so they need to be handled with care. What’s the best way to do that? Retainers should be brushed daily with a soft toothbrush and liquid soap (dish soap works well), and then placed immediately back in your mouth or into the case that came with the retainer. When you are eating a meal at a restaurant, do not wrap your retainer in a napkin and leave it on the table — this is a great way to lose it! Instead, take the case with you, and keep the retainer in it while you’re eating. When you get home, brush your teeth and then put the retainer back in your mouth.
If you do lose your retainer though, let us know right away. Retention is the last step of your orthodontic treatment, and it’s extremely important. You’ve worked hard to get a beautiful smile, and no one wants to see that effort wasted. Yet if you neglect to wear your retainer as instructed, your teeth are likely to shift out of position. Why does this happen?
As you’ve seen firsthand, teeth aren’t rigidly fixed in the jaw — they can be moved in response to light and continuous force. That’s what orthodontic appliances do: apply the right amount of force in a carefully controlled manner. But there are other forces at work on your teeth that can move them in less predictable ways. For example, normal biting and chewing can, over time, cause your teeth to shift position. To get teeth to stay where they’ve been moved orthodontically, new bone needs to form around them and anchor them where they are. That will happen over time, but only if they are held in place with a retainer. That’s why it is so important to wear yours as directed — and notify us immediately if it gets lost.
And if ever you do have to dig your retainer out of a dumpster… be sure to wash it before putting in in your mouth!
If you would like more information on retainers, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can learn more in the Dear Doctor magazine articles “The Importance of Orthodontic Retainers” and “Why Orthodontic Retainers?”