Sedation dentistry is often hailed as a solution to all of a patient’s problems regarding dental therapies. It can address anxiety, fear, stress and pain. It can provide a comfortable experience for the dental patient, allowing the dental professional to work safely and quickly. As with any pharmacological agent, there are risks, and before you agree to any sedation dentistry option, it is smart to educate yourself about some of those risks.
While single doses of oral sedatives such as Valium or Halcion are unlikely to harm a patient, there are concerns regarding multiple doses of these drugs that could potentially cause a patient to be overly sedated, or even completely unconscious. Because each patient has a different metabolism, drugs can take between twenty minutes and an hour to become fully effective.
These time-delay issues are not problematic for inhaled sedation or for IV sedation, as these types of sedation dentistry are effective almost instantaneously. For oral sedation, however, a dentist who administers more than one pill could cause an overdose if the medicine kicks in at the same time. Most dentists lack both the equipment and the training to effectively and quickly address an overdose in a patient who is unconscious.
In 2000, a group known as the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation was launched. Its purpose is to train dentists on sedation dentistry methods such as how to properly monitor a patient during a dental procedure to ensure that their heart rates and oxygen levels are healthy. Despite this, there are still concerns about adverse effects of adults with oral conscious sedation. There have been no reported adult deaths from overdosing; however, some children have died from oral sedation, leading to the practice being recommended only for adults.
If you are about to undergo a prolonged dental procedure, or if you are considering sedation dentistry to address personal anxiety or a dental phobia, look for a dentist who has received training in sedation dentistry and has high levels of experience to ensure that your procedure is as safe and comfortable as possible.
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While life can be full of moments that are wonderful, there are days that just naturally stand out: your wedding, your graduation, a very special anniversary or birthday, or a big job interview you’ve always wanted. Many of these events are photographed, and when you look back at those photos in years to come, you naturally want to look your very best. Will you look back on your photos and wonder, could my teeth have looked better? The answer could be yes if your teeth aren’t the best and the brightest they can be.
Teeth are covered in enamel, a strong white coating on top of the internal structures of your tooth. As we age, enamel naturally wears away. Because it cannot be replaced naturally, the enamel thins, and the yellow layer of dentin beneath is exposed. This leads to smiles that are discolored and yellowed, appearing dingy and dim.
The foods we eat affect the brightness of our teeth, and some can begin to stain long-term. Beets, blueberries and blackberries can leave stains, as can tea, coffee, dark soda and red wine. Even soy sauce and balsamic vinegar can discolor your smile. If you have any crown, bridges or veneers, those structures aren’t affected by long-term stains, and can begin to stand out in unattractive contrast to your natural, darkening teeth.
Begin the process for your important day by scheduling an appointment with your dentist. Have your teeth examined and cleaned, and learn what teeth whitening procedures would best benefit your particular smile needs. Don’t wait until the last minute, as some whitening procedures take time to reach optimal effects. Some whitening methods increase the sensitivity of your teeth or surrounding gums. Planning ahead can allow your teeth some time to recover prior to your special event.
After your professional teeth whitening, you’ll be surprised at your self-confidence. Your mood will improve as you face those around you with your best and brightest smile, and everyone you meet will sense it. Love the photos you’ll be taking for years to come, and talk to your dentist today.
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If your desire is to transform your smile quickly and easily, dental veneers may be the way to go. They hide cosmetic problems that range from minor issues to very noticeable ones. Veneers are customized so that they give you the exact look you want for your new beautiful smile. These restorations, often made of porcelain, offer a variety of benefits to meet many needs.
Straightening: Crooked, misaligned, or uneven teeth can be hidden with veneers. An impression will be taken of your teeth, which will be sent to a lab so that veneers can be created specifically for you. Once the veneers are finished, the dentist will attach them to your teeth to give you a perfectly straight smile without having to wear braces.
Strengthening: If you have cracked or otherwise weakened teeth, you do not have to replace them in order to get dental veneers. Once the teeth are stabilized, veneers can be applied and actually act like a splint for your teeth. Veneers create a strong bond with your teeth and can even protect against tooth decay.
Durability: Another benefit of veneers is their durability, as they can last up to 20 years. Caring for them just means proper brushing and flossing, and regular checkups. No changes to your diet are necessary, and porcelain veneers are stain resistant so they maintain their bright appearance.
Easy procedure: Getting dental veneers is a painless process, and quicker than many other cosmetic procedures. You can get your new smile in just two or three appointments.
Natural: Veneers are one of the most natural-looking ways to improve your smile. They look similar to real teeth because they reflect light naturally, and the thin material fits snugly to your teeth.
Versatility: Veneers correct a variety of cosmetic dental problems. Examples include discolorations, stains, breaks, misalignment, overcrowding, and unevenness. Just about any aesthetic flaw you have with your teeth can be covered with veneers, giving you a brand new beautiful smile.
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For many years, dentists removed cavities and filled them with metal amalgams. Traditional metal fillings are less expensive and were often the first choice for fixing damaged teeth. Recently, composite resin fillings have become the top method for restoring smiles. Ultimately, the decision rests with the patient; however, many dentists have moved to placing only composite fillings.
Silver fillings actually weaken the natural tooth structure, although they do repair the decayed area. As well, metal fillings contain mercury, which can become toxic in large doses. Metal fillings can expand, contract, or leak from wear over time. In many cases, they also darken with age.
Tinted to match natural teeth, composite resin fillings preserve your bright, white image. With composite resin fillings, less tooth area needs to be removed, which keeps as much of your original tooth in tact as possible. Because tooth-colored fillings actually bond to the tooth, you don’t have to worry about these restorations changing shape or cracking.
To place a composite restoration, your dentist will clean out the decay and prepare the tooth. Then, the doctor will fill the area with the composite material. With a special curing light, your dentist hardens the filling and polishes the tooth.
When you have metal fillings, check with your dentist and request an evaluation of their stability. Some people choose to replace amalgam fillings because of the way they look. If your old fillings develop additional decay or fracture, you will need to have the restorations repaired in order to restore the tooth.
Schedule a dental cleaning appointment today at our Morehead City dentists office.