If you avoid getting dental care because of the anxiety and fear of going to the dentist, you are not alone. It is estimated that forty million Americans don’t seek regular dental care because they are uncomfortable or afraid of going. Sedation dentistry has been developed to manage the pain and anxiety of dental visits, while still providing patients with the ability to respond to verbal commands and physical stimulation.
Here are some guidelines to help you determine if sedation dentistry might help you:
• You are fearful about dental instruments and procedures.
• Local anesthetics have not had a numbing effect on you in the past.
• Your gag reflex is overly sensitive.
• You have a fear of shots or needles.
• The noises, tastes, and odors associated with dentistry bother you a great deal.
• You have extremely sensitive teeth.
• Your dental problems are complicated, or you need to have several procedures in a single visit.
• You have experienced traumatic dental experiences in the past.
• Health issues such as neck or back pain or TMJ make it uncomfortable for you to sit in the dentist’s chair or open your mouth for extended periods.
Putting off dental care is not recommended because it can result in more serious problems or invasive procedures later. If some of the characteristics above describe you, consult your dentist about ways to help you relax and become more comfortable with checkups. Sedation dentistry techniques like IV, oral, or inhaled sedation may be just what you need to allow you to confidently seek dental care on a regular basis.
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One of the most misunderstood procedures in dentistry is root canal treatment. If your dentist recommends this procedure, you might be quick to turn to the internet or other sources to learn about it. Unfortunately there is a lot of unreliable information out there, which can scare you away from needed treatment.
There are some common myths that circulate about root canal therapy. Instead of avoiding treatment, learn the truth about this procedure that may be the most effective way to save a damaged tooth.
Myth: Root canal treatment is very painful.
Truth: This procedure often serves to relieve pain instead of creating it. With the anesthetics and sedation dentistry available today, in most cases the procedure feels like simply getting a filling.
Myth: You don’t need root canal treatment unless you are experiencing severe tooth pain.
Fact: Pain is not always present when root canal therapy is advised by your dentist. A tooth that has died may no longer trigger pain, but treatment is necessary to eliminate infection and save the tooth. Diagnostic tests are available to help your dentist diagnose tooth problems even when pain is not present.
Myth: The benefits of root canal treatment are short-lived.
Fact: This treatment provides durable and long-lasting results, potentially for a lifetime. Since the tooth is usually topped with a crown, it can be protected indefinitely.
Myth: Root canal treatment causes illnesses.
Fact: This is one of the most common misconceptions you might run across on the internet. Based on very old research that has been proven to be wrong, the myth still exists that root canal therapy might cause various diseases. Instead, root canal treatment is safe and only improves your oral and overall health.
Myth: Tooth extraction is an adequate alternative to root canal therapy.
Fact: Dentists agree that saving your natural tooth is almost always preferred over a traumatic procedure like tooth extraction. The benefits of keeping your restored real tooth are better than having a hole in your smile or requiring tooth replacement solutions.
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A wisdom tooth is often extracted to correct an existing dental problem or to prevent the possibility of problems that may arise in the future. Some problems associated with wisdom teeth are:
- Your jaw may be too small to accommodate the eruption of your wisdom teeth, leading them to become impacted (stuck in the jaw, often under the edge of an adjacent tooth) and unable to erupt through your gums.
- Your wisdom teeth may partially erupt, leaving a flap of soft gum tissue to grow over the tooth. Food, bacteria and germs can get trapped underneath this gum flap, leading to swelling, redness and pain, which are signs of infection.
- Impacted teeth can lead to a more serious problem, such as acute infection, damage to the surrounding teeth, damage to the bone or the development of a cyst.
- Wisdom teeth can present at an awkward angle, coming in with the top of the tooth facing sideways, forward or backward.
Removing your wisdom teeth can be a good method to prevent:
- crowding at the back of the mouth
- an impacted wisdom tooth stuck in the jaw and never erupting
- painful gums or infection caused by a flap of gum skin
- gum disease or tooth decay in the individual wisdom tooth or in the surrounding teeth and gums
You may want to have your wisdom teeth removed when you are younger because:
- The younger you are, the less developed your wisdom teeth roots are, and the less dense your jawbone, allowing for an easier extraction of the tooth.
- The majority of problems with wisdom teeth begin between the ages of fifteen and twenty-five.
- If you have a medical condition that is known to worsen with time, you may choose to have your wisdom teeth out early, while you are in your best health, to facilitate maximum healing.
Wisdom teeth extraction is rarely harmful, but there are risks associated with any surgery. Talk to your dentist today about any concerns you have regarding wisdom tooth extraction.
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At least twice a year, you need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. These visits allow your dentist to assess you oral health, address any concerns you have, and look for signs of problems. Protecting your teeth and gums is a partnership between you and your dentist. For the best results, follow these helpful hints:
Find the right dentist in Morehead City
Selecting a provider and dental office that fits your personality will make you more likely to keep your appointments.
Provide an accurate health history
Although your dentist’s primary concern is your mouth, overall wellness can impact your dental health. For example, chronic health issues like diabetes and HIV can increase your risk for gum disease.
Bring a list of current medications
Your dentist needs to know the names and dosages of any medicine you take regularly. Certain medications, such as pain relievers, allergy medicines, and anti-depressants, can cause dry mouth, which may make you susceptible to dental problems.
Report any issues right away
Sometimes, you may develop a toothache or notice bleeding gums between your visits. Don’t ignore these symptoms because they may indicate bigger problems. The longer you wait to address any issues, the more time and money you will lose.
Share your fears
For some people, dental visits cause anxiety or fear. Let your dentist know exactly what worries you. Most doctors want you to feel relaxed and comfortable, so they will take time to answer your questions and help you feel at ease.
Our dental office is located in Morehead City
A brighter smile can make a big difference in your appearance. There are lots of choices today for improving your tooth color. Here are details about some of the options so you can decide which way you may want to whiten your smile.
Eliminating the need:
One way to eliminate the need for teeth whitening is to avoid foods and drinks that are known to cause stains. These include items like coffee, tea, red wine, berries, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar, and curry. If you do consume foods that stain, try to brush your teeth as soon as possible before stains can attach to your teeth.
Whitening at home:
There are many products available at your drugstore to help you brighten your smile at home. Whitening toothpastes and mouthwashes are two types of options, although it can take a while to see results from these methods. Whitening strips are a popular choice, which are covered in a bleaching solution and attached to the fronts of your teeth. Depending on the brand and strength, they might be in place from 5 to 30 minutes daily for a week or two in order to achieve the desired results. Overuse of these strips can increase teeth sensitivity, so be careful not to use them too often.
Whitening procedures performed at your dentist’s office are usually the fastest and most effective way to spruce up your smile. Custom trays filled with a higher strength bleaching gel may be made to be worn either in the office or at home later. Another method that must be administered in the office involves a bleaching agent applied to your teeth’s surface and then a bright light to speed up the process. You can typically expect dramatic results from this type of professional whitening.
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