Central Valley Dental Implant & Oral Surgery Institute

Four Reasons to Choose Sedation Dentistry

Four Reasons to Choose Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry refers to dental or oral surgical procedures, such as wisdom teeth extraction, performed while the patient is under the effects of anesthesia. This method of treatment offers several benefits for both the patient and the oral surgeon, and it is an important factor to consider when undergoing any dental procedure.

1.    Less Discomfort

Before your procedure, you will be administered a local anesthetic to numb the treatment area. However, it is common to experience muscle tension in the dental chair. This can lead to increased discomfort after the anesthetic wears off. If you are sensitive to pain or have a strong gag reflex, sedation dentistry may be recommended to help you feel relaxed and comfortable during your procedure. Sedation helps minimize discomfort both during and after your oral surgery, making it an ideal option for those seeking pain-free dentistry or oral surgery.

2.    Reduces Dental Anxiety

Dental anxiety and phobia are common among patients undergoing dental or oral surgery procedures. In fact, over half of all patients in the U.S. report feeling some form of dental anxiety. This can lead to delaying necessary treatments and potentially worsening oral health issues.

To alleviate this, sedation dentistry is available to help patients feel relaxed and comfortable during their procedure. This allows the oral surgeon to perform the treatment without causing additional stress or anxiety. By using proper sedation techniques, patients can feel calm before, during, and after the surgery. This reduces the likelihood of canceling the procedure and ensures a more relaxed and comfortable experience overall. Instead of avoiding necessary treatment due to anxiety, sedation dentistry allows for prompt and stress-free restoration of oral health.

3.    Dental Sedation is Safe & Effective

Dentists and oral surgeons are trained in the safe and effective use of nitrous oxide (laughing gas), oral sedation, and IV sedation to help patients relax during minor procedures. The chosen form of sedation will be used according to the oral surgeon’s instructions, and patients are closely monitored by trained support staff at all times. If nitrous oxide is used, its effects will fully wear off within a few minutes. IV sedation and general anesthesia may take a few hours to fully recover from, but a good night’s sleep will ensure complete recovery. There are no long-term effects from the different forms of sedation dentistry.

4.    There are Different Sedation Levels

Not all patients desire to be conscious during dental procedures, but all patients strive for a pain-free experience. A sedation dentist or oral surgeon is skilled in selecting and administering the appropriate level of sedation, based on factors such as the type of procedure, the patient’s anxiety level, and pain tolerance.

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, represents the least intense form of sedation. It reduces pain perception, and its effects wear off quickly. During the procedure, patients will feel relaxed and in some cases experience lightheartedness, while remaining conscious.

Oral Conscious Sedation

Your oral surgeon may prescribe an anxiety medication to be taken approximately an hour before the procedure, resulting in a relaxed and drowsy state during the treatment.

IV Sedation

This form of sedation is referred to as Twilight Sleep and is delivered via an IV line in the arm. The medication creates a state of relaxation, comfort, and calmness, with the potential for drifting in and out of sleep. The level of anesthesia is meticulously regulated through a continuously administered flow of medication during the surgery.

Deep Conscious Sedation

Deep conscious sedation, which is similar to general anesthesia, is delivered via an IV line in the arm. During this form of sedation, patients will lose consciousness and remain unconscious until the procedure is completed, without having any recollection of the procedure. This level of sedation is typically used for procedures such as wisdom teeth removal, dental implant surgery, and complex maxillofacial surgeries.

Our practice takes a personalized approach to patient care and will thoroughly review all available options and answer any questions during the planning of a procedure. If you require oral surgery and have concerns regarding pain or anxiety, please reach out to us to learn more about our sedation dentistry options.

 

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The Diabetes and Oral Health Connection

The Diabetes and Oral Health Connection

Individuals must prioritize oral hygiene for overall well-being, however, those with diabetes must exercise an elevated level of vigilance in maintaining oral health. The impact of diabetes on oral health can be deleterious, frequently resulting in periodontal disease, cavities, and other exacerbating factors.

Diabetes and Oral Health

Patients with diabetes often inquire about the relationship between oral health and their condition. It is important to note that diabetes affects the entire body, including oral health. Individuals with diabetes are more susceptible to dental caries, gum disease, and infections.

The disease itself, as well as certain medications, can result in decreased saliva production which elevates the risk of gum disease and cavities. Elevated blood glucose levels increase the sugar levels in saliva, providing a breeding ground for bacteria that can lead to plaque, cavities, and gum disease. Other oral health issues that may arise from diabetes include dry mouth, thrush, and burning mouth syndrome.

The connection between diabetes and oral health is further exacerbated by the reduction of healthy red blood cells caused by high blood sugar, making it more challenging to fight off oral infections. A dry mouth, a direct or indirect result of uncontrolled diabetes, leads to a lack of saliva to wash away debris and bacteria, leading to inflamed gums and potential periodontitis. Some medications used to treat diabetes may also contribute to dry mouth.

Improving The Diabetes and Oral Health Connection

The impact of diabetes on oral health should not be overlooked. To safeguard your teeth and gums against any dental issues related to diabetes, it is imperative to adopt an effective oral hygiene regimen that includes daily flossing, twice daily brushing, and frequent dental check-ups. While regular dental cleanings and check-ups are recommended for everyone, individuals with diabetes may benefit from quarterly appointments.

To ensure optimal oral health, it is essential to inform your dentist of your diabetes status and provide a comprehensive overview of your health history, including:

  • Medications you are currently taking
  • Any complications arising from your diabetes, such as heart disease
  • The type of diabetes you have and its duration
  • Any recent fluctuations in blood sugar levels

With regular dental evaluations, patients with diabetes can proactively prevent oral health problems that may rapidly escalate. Consult with your dentist to determine the appropriate frequency of dental check-ups and cleanings to safeguard your teeth and gums.

Gum Disease in Diabetic Patients

Individuals with diabetes are at a higher risk of developing periodontitis, a severe form of gum disease, compared to those without diabetes. This risk is further elevated with fluctuating blood sugar levels and dry mouth. To prevent the progression of gum disease, it is crucial to be vigilant and seek dental attention if any of the following signs are observed:

  • Bleeding gums after eating or brushing
  • Swollen, red, or receding gums
  • Loose teeth
  • Discharge of blood or pus from around the teeth
  • Chronic bad breath (halitosis)
  • Pain while chewing or wearing dentures

If proper oral care is still not sufficient to prevent gum disease or cavities, your dentist may refer you to an oral surgeon for additional treatments, such as tooth extraction. Regular dental visits and an effective oral hygiene routine are crucial for individuals with diabetes to maintain optimal oral health.

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Are Dental X-Rays Safe?

During your initial appointment at our practice, an oral examination will be conducted, and, in most cases, a series of dental radiographs will be taken to assess your oral health and formulate a treatment plan. It is understandable if you have concerns about the safety of dental radiographs. In the past, excessive utilization and radiation exposure were potential issues, however, contemporary radiographs are generally safe for patients, although a minor degree of risk still exists.

What are the Risks of Having Dental X-Rays?

It is important to note that all forms of radiography, including dental radiographs, involve some degree of radiation exposure, similar to that from everyday electronic devices such as televisions and smartphones. At Central Valley OMS, we prioritize the judicious use of dental radiographs, only utilizing them when necessary, and utilizing state-of-the-art imaging technology to minimize the number of radiographs needed while achieving high-quality images.

While extended exposure to dental radiographs over time may increase the likelihood of developing head, neck, or brain cancer, this occurrence is extremely rare. It is also worth considering that the amount of radiation exposure from everyday sources such as cell phones, microwaves, etc. is greater than that from dental radiographs. The benefits of dental radiographs far outweigh any associated risks.

 

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Pregnant Women?

The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists states that dental radiographs can be safely performed during pregnancy if proper protective measures such as the use of a lead apron and a thyroid collar to shield the torso and neck from radiation are employed. If you have any concerns regarding treatment or radiography during pregnancy, including potential harm to your unborn child, it is recommended that you discuss the possibility of postponing oral surgery until after delivery with your healthcare provider or dentist.

Are Dental X-Rays Safe for Children?

The answer is affirmative, as long as radiography is performed in moderation. It is important for your dentist to periodically take dental radiographs to keep track of the development of the jawbone and teeth, to detect and address potential issues at an early stage. Radiography plays a crucial role in the diagnosis and treatment planning of orthodontic issues and various dental problems in children and young adults. To ensure your child’s safety, a lead apron should be used, and only a minimal number of radiographs should be taken unless there is a specific issue requiring more comprehensive imaging.

How We Protect You During Dental X-Rays

At our practice, the objective is to minimize the use of dental radiographs and obtain the necessary images for a successful outcome in wisdom teeth removal or oral surgery. If recent radiographs have been taken, we will request copies rather than repeat the procedure unnecessarily. Accurate imaging is essential for performing surgical procedures with precision. To reduce radiation exposure, a lead apron will be provided to cover the torso, and a thyroid collar will be utilized to protect the thyroid gland.

When possible, we utilize digital 3D scanning technology which generates high-resolution images by capturing hundreds of images in a matter of seconds with a 360-degree rotation around the head, limiting exposure only to areas above the thyroid.

If you have concerns regarding the safety of dental radiographs our oral surgeons are available for consultation to address your questions and concerns.