Dental Phobia: Dental Sedation Techniques for Nervous Patients

If you’re afraid of dental visits, you’re not alone. Studies show that over one-third of people are afraid of going to the dentist. Bad previous experiences are typically to blame. 

However, it’s critical that people get the dental treatment and preventive care they need to keep teeth and gums healthy. The good news is, your dentist has several ways to help calm your nerves and keep you comfortable during your dental visits.

On-Site Medications and Cutting-Edge Technology

One of the most common techniques that a dentist will choose involves the use of a topical anaesthetic. This is intended to numb the immediate area where any work will be occurring. 

Note that gels and small injections may be used, depending on the procedure in question. You will be happy to learn that topical gels will always be applied before any injection takes place, virtually eliminating any pain that you may experience.

Nitrous Oxide

You could opt for nitrous oxide (laughing gas). This provides a mild sedating effect and is the most common choice for those with dental phobia. The effects of this gas wear off quickly and unlike the techniques mentioned above, you will be allowed to drive once the visit is completed.

Dental Sedation

Sedation medication will be delivered intravenously, and patients will remain awake during the procedure. The main point here is that while you are conscious, you will be extremely relaxed. 

You may also be provided with a supply of oxygen via a face mask. Generally, an anaesthesiologist is present to monitor your vital signs. Note that this approach is now used more commonly when compared to traditional oral sedatives. 

There may also be times when a more in-depth procedure is required or you are extremely nervous. In such situations, a dentist may use general anaesthesia. 

This medication will put you to sleep for the duration of the treatment. The anaesthesia is delivered intravenously and due to certain risks (such as rare unexpected drop in blood pressure), this technique may be performed in a hospital setting. General anaesthesia is generally reserved for those who suffer from extreme levels of dental phobia.

Useful Psychological Techniques to Keep in “Mind”

There is little doubt that medical science has come a long way in terms of providing patients with dental phobia a sense of relief. However, we also need to recognise the power of the mind in terms of controlling your fears. We’ll now take a quick look at some coping mechanisms that have been proven to offer tangible results.

Distractions

While this may appear rather simple at first glance, distracting yourself with pleasant stimuli can often help you to relax. For example, you could choose to bring along a portable music player or watch a movie on your smartphone during the procedure.

Deep Breathing Techniques

Some studies have also found that deep breathing may provide a measure of relief when dealing with chronic and acute discomfort. It is thought that certain hormones known as endorphins play a significant role. Let’s also remember that breathing deeply provides your body with more oxygen, important in terms of feeling refreshed and alert once the procedure has been completed.

Acupuncture and/or Acupressure

Nervous patients could turn to traditional Eastern medicine. Acupuncture and acupressure have been used for millennia to treat pain, to provide a sense of relaxation and even to address acute ailments such as muscle spasm. 

Either method causes the body to release pain-killing chemicals known as analgesics (natural anaesthetics). If you are afraid of needles, acupressure will often produce comparable results. Either can be employed immediately before the dental procedure if required.

Talk to Your Dentist About Your Fears

It’s very important that you get the dental care you need. If you have a dental phobia or extreme nervousness about dental visits, make an appointment and discuss your feelings with the dental staff. 

Today’s dentists are trained to handle these fears, and take great pride in helping patients like you get this all-important dental care. 

Ultimately, there is nothing wrong with being afraid of the dentist. However, allowing this fear to prevent necessary oral treatments can make matters worse. There is little doubt that you will be able to find a realistic solution. 

Sources:

1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5586885/

2. https://emersondentalwa.com/blog/332616-the-advantages-of-dental-lasers-over-drills

3. https://www.painscale.com/article/deep-breathing-techniques-to-help-manage-chronic-pain

Reviving Smiles: Navigating the Benefits of Restorative Dentistry

Restoring a damaged or missing tooth not only helps revive your smile, it improves your oral health, too. If a tooth is loose, chipped, broken or painful, you should book an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. The earlier a damaged tooth is treated the easier it is to restore.

Your dentist will be able to perform any necessary dental restoration work. After assessing the damaged tooth or teeth, they can recommend a treatment course to help restore your smile and allow you to comfortably chew once more.

Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dentistry aims to restore functionality as well as improve your oral health. Whereas cosmetic dentistry focuses on aesthetics alone, restorative dentistry can improve how your teeth function and how they look.

A restored tooth allows you to chew and bite again where once it may have been difficult or painful. A restored tooth will be made to look like the surrounding teeth, providing a natural appearance to your smile. Being confident once more in your smile can help boost overall self-confidence.

Several oral health issues can be addressed with dental restoration. These include:

  • Cavities
  • Broken or fractured tooth
  • Cracked or chipped tooth
  • Damage caused by tooth decay
  • Missing teeth

Oral health issues like gum disease and tooth decay can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Restorative dental work can help prevent a cavity or damaged tooth from worsening to the point where it can become infected and even require extraction.

A missing tooth could also be the result of an impact injury. Whatever the reason, if you have a tooth gap, it is important to replace a missing tooth. This helps prevent a loss of jawbone, a process which can result in facial muscles starting to sag.

Benefits of Restorative Dentistry

Restorative dental work — to repair or replace damaged or missing teeth — offers the best chance for improved long-term oral health. This is the key benefit of restorative dentistry, and there are treatment options to address different issues for all ages.

As well as restoring your immediate oral health, further benefits of restorative dental work include:

Types of Restorative Procedures

Your dentist will evaluate any issues with your oral health before recommending the relevant restorative treatment. There are different options to suit the degree of damage to a tooth or row of teeth. We will begin by looking at the most common restorative option.

1. Dental Fillings

Most people have had a tooth restored at some point with a filling. Dental fillings are used to repair smaller cavities resulting from decay and the erosion of the tooth enamel.

An amalgam filling, which can be tooth-coloured, is used to fill the cavity once the decayed part of the tooth has been removed. A filling helps prevent further decay of the tooth, as well as reduce the risk of further problems arising.

2. Inlays and Onlays

A larger cavity may require an inlay or onlay to restore the tooth. They act like fillings but are custom-made before being bonded to the tooth in need of repair.

Inlays are smaller as they are made to fit within the cusp of a tooth and cover the chewing surface. The larger onlay covers at least one cusp and can extend down the side of a tooth.

3. Crowns

Crowns are also used to repair large cavities, as well as to restore and enhance the appearance of a fractured tooth. The crown is a cap that is shaped to cover the tooth.

Some of the tooth enamel may need to be shaved off first before the crown can be placed. This is to ensure a snug fit, fully encasing the repaired tooth.

4. Dental Bridges

A dental bridge provides an artificial tooth to replace a missing tooth or a row of missing teeth. The natural tooth at each end of the gap is used as a support for the bridge.

A tooth acting as the support may need a little enamel removed to aid the fitting of a bridge. The bridge is a fixed restoration and is not removable like dentures.

5. Root Canal

Tooth decay can cause an infection in the inner pulp of a tooth. This can threaten the tooth. However, root canal treatment can save an infected tooth from extraction.

The procedure removes all infected areas from the inner pulp before filling in the tooth. A filling may be enough to seal the tooth and protect it from the risk of further infection, although a crown may also be placed for additional strength.

6. Dental Implants

A dental implant is a post usually made from titanium that is screwed into the jawbone to act as a tooth root. This helps support the surrounding bone and prevents bone loss.

Dental implants are seen as the gold standard in restorative dentistry. Once fitted they can support a crown, bridge, or dentures to replace a missing tooth.

7. Dentures

Partial or full dentures are one of the more traditional dental restorative measures. They are removable and are fitted on the top of the gums to replace missing teeth.

Using dental implants to attach dentures rather than setting them on the gums can offer a more stable feel to the dentures.

Dental restoration work helps restore function as well as improve overall oral health. If you have a cavity or fractured or missing tooth, consult with your dentist who will recommend the most suitable dental restoration.

Toothpaste Tablets: Do They Work Better than Regular Paste?

Brushing your teeth at least twice daily is a key part of a good oral health routine. Alongside daily flossing and regular dental appointments, brushing your teeth helps maintain a healthy-looking smile. 

Most people will instinctively use toothpaste as part of their oral health routine. However, toothpaste tablets provide another option, one which can be easier to use when traveling and more friendly to the environment.

What Are Toothpaste Tablets?

Toothpaste tablets are as they sound, small pill-like tabs that you pop in your mouth when you want to clean your teeth and freshen your mouth. Also known as tooth tabs, these tablets are easy to use. 

You just put one in your mouth and chew on the tablet. The tablet will combine with your saliva to form a paste that you can then use to clean your teeth with your toothbrush.

Most tablets contain fluoride to help strengthen tooth enamel. They also contain abrasives that help remove plaque from the teeth. However, you may require a couple of extra rinses once you have finished brushing than you would normally to remove any feeling of grittiness.

You can use tablets twice a day as you would regular toothpaste to help preserve a confident, healthy smile. The tablets contain sweeteners and flavorings to keep your breath smelling fresh, which can provide a further boost to a confident smile.

What Are the Advantages of Using Toothpaste Tablets?

Of course, you may not consider swapping from the regular toothpaste you have always used to tablets — unless there are some distinct advantages in doing so. One of the primary reasons people consider switching to tablets is for the environmental benefit.

We are all familiar with the plastic tubes used with regular toothpaste. You can imagine the vast quantities of these plastic tubes manufactured each year, most of which end up in landfill sites. Plastic waste continues to be a huge environmental issue and a particular threat to ocean habitats.

The brands behind regular paste are looking to find alternative recyclable packaging options, but in the meantime, some people have looked to tablets instead. This is because most toothpaste tablets come in recyclable packaging. These could be small glass or tin containers. Some are even packaged in compostable pouches.

The use of natural ingredients is also a priority by many of the brands offering tablets as an alternative to regular paste. This again has a large appeal to consumers concerned about the processed ingredients they are putting into their bodies. You are less likely to find preservatives or parabens in the ingredients listed on tablets.

Lifestyle choices and sustainability concerns attract people to toothpaste tablets. With tablets, there is a good range of gluten-free, cruelty-free, and vegan options when it comes to combining looking after your oral care and finding a product that matches your lifestyle choices.

A Good On-the-Go Option

Tablets can be a more convenient option when on the go. They are easier to pack, taking up less room in your bag than tubes of regular paste. Tablets are also TSA-friendly which is handy if you fly regularly. They can be packed in your carry-on bag, removing the need to hunt for travel-friendly tubes of regular paste ahead of your trip.

Tablets also mean you don’t have to skip brushing your teeth when on the go. Whether you are at the office or just out for the day where you don’t have a toothbrush to hand you can still use a tablet to clean your teeth and freshen your mouth. 

In these scenarios, you can still place a tablet in your mouth and chew on it to form a paste. If you have a bottle of water to hand you can rinse your mouth out afterward. This will not clean your teeth as thoroughly as a toothbrush, but it still offers a good replacement alternative for those times when you do not have access to a toothbrush. 

Are Tablets Better than Regular Paste?

Toothpaste tablets, therefore, have environmental and travel benefits that will make them attractive to many people. If you are concerned with the environmental impact of plastic packaging or are looking for product options to suit your lifestyle, tablets offer an alternative to regular paste. 

Similarly, the prioritizing of natural ingredients in tablets will appeal to many people. If you are often away from home without access to your toothbrush, easy-to-pack tablets mean you don’t have to skip cleaning your teeth.

However, in terms of whether tablets offer the same protection for your smile as a regular paste, it is difficult to answer at the moment. There has not been enough research to establish the effectiveness of tablets when compared to regular paste. This is a crucial consideration when choosing oral care products. Therefore, it is best to consult with your dentist first when contemplating switching to tablets from a regular paste.

The cost of tablets will also be an important consideration for people. Tablets are considerably more expensive at present compared to tubes of toothpaste. A four-month supply of tablets can cost $30, whereas a similar supply of regular paste may only cost up to $6. 

This is a difference that is hard to ignore, but for many, it will be seen as a price worth paying for the environmental benefits of recyclable tablet packaging.

Ultimately, which product is better will come down to the individual and their requirements and preference. Both tablets and regular paste have benefits, but also some potential disadvantages when compared against one another. 

However, whichever product you choose, the key point is to ensure you clean your teeth twice daily at least to help maintain a smile that you can be proud of. Your dentist can help you make decisions on purchasing the oral care products that are most suitable for you. 

Source:

https://www.colgate.com/en-us/oral-health/selecting-dental-products/what-are-toothpaste-tablets

5 Signs You Need Your Wisdom Teeth Removed

Wisdom teeth are the third set of big molars located at the back of the mouth. Most people have four of them (one in each far corner of the mouth) and these particular teeth usually emerge during your late teens or early twenties. 

If your wisdom teeth are healthy, emerge fully through the gums and are positioned correctly, they are generally left in place. 

But sometimes there isn’t enough room in the mouth for the teeth to grow and emerge properly. 

Problems can occur when the teeth do not come through the gums fully, get stuck (even below the gumline) or grow at an odd angle.

Dentists refer to these as impacted wisdom teeth and it’s quite common to have at least one impacted wisdom tooth. 

Your dentist can take an X-ray to see how the teeth are growing and how they are impacted. If necessary, the dentist will arrange to remove these teeth. 

Most dentists prefer to do this when patients are younger because the bone and roots are not fully developed and healing will be much faster — and this is one reason why younger people may have their wisdom teeth removed. 

However, it is possible for problems to occur later in life too – even if your teeth are not impacted, and there are some warning signs that you should be aware of. 

Signs of Problems With Wisdom Teeth

1. Pain

Impacted teeth can cause pain and swelling in the jaw and face. Some people may experience headaches too. In addition, because partially impacted teeth are much harder to clean, the chance of other dental issues like cavities, gum disease and infection increases.

2. Bleeding, sore or reddened gums

Painful sore gums which bleed easily are an early sign of gum disease (also known as gingivitis or periodontal disease). Keeping partially emerged teeth clean is difficult. Food and debris can get trapped around the teeth causing a build-up of plaque and tarter. This can lead to gum disease.

3. Bad breath or a bad taste

Halitosis (bad breath) or a nasty taste in your mouth can indicate various dental issues including infection, decay and gun disease and is a sign that you need to see a dentist. 

4. Damage to neighbouring teeth

If wisdom teeth are growing sideways or pushing other teeth out of line because there isn’t enough space in the mouth, neighbouring teeth can become damaged or shift.

5. Cysts

Cysts (fluid-filled swellings) can develop around impacted teeth. You should contact your dentist if you experience any lumps or changes around your teeth.

See Your Dentist Right Away

If you are experiencing any of these issues, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible so that they can examine and X-ray the area. 

If necessary, your dentist or dental surgeon will arrange to remove the affected wisdom tooth or teeth. This involves a surgical procedure and usually a local anaesthetic. 

You may experience pain and slight bruising for the first few days after the teeth have been removed but full recovery generally occurs in about two weeks. You can usually carry out your normal routine and attend work or school within a few days of the procedure. 

There are a few complications associated with the procedure. These include a condition known as ‘dry socket’ which can be felt as a dull pain in the empty socket if the blood clot is dislodged. However, you can help prevent this by following your dentist’s advice after surgery. 

There is also a slight risk of nerve damage which may feel like a tingling or numb sensation, but this is usually temporary. It is also important to know that smoking can delay the healing process and increase your risk of infection, so if you are having surgery, try to use the opportunity to quit smoking

You can’t prevent impacted wisdom teeth, but you can be aware of any associated symptoms or issues. Ignoring symptoms can lead to further problems like abscesses and infections and this can damage other healthy teeth. 

It is always better to see the dentist right away — as this can help reduce costs and the amount of treatment needed in the long term. 

As always, remember to practice good oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. This helps to prevent the build-up of plaque and tarter and reduces the risk of gum disease and cavities – which can further complicate wisdom teeth treatment.

For more information follow the links below:

https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/wisdom-teeth/expert-answers/wisdom-teeth-removal/faq-20058558

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/wisdom-tooth-removal/

https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/22296-impacted-wisdom-teeth

Benefits of red wine that can protect your teeth

teeth dental health smile dentist oral health

Pour yourself a glass of wine without worrying about your teeth. Although wine leaves stains on teeth, researchers have revealed benefits of red wine that can protect your teeth.

Key takeaways:

– Red wine contains polyphenols with antibacterial and antioxidative properties that kill harmful bacteria in the mouth and gut.

– Red wine can help to balance hormones, prevent heart disease and keep the brain young.

– P-coumaric and caffeic acid in wine keep off bad oral bacteria that cause cavities and periodontitis.

Brush your teeth before bed and see the dentist for assessment.

Read more here:

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321028.php

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