How Sedation Dentistry can Change the Way You Experience the Dentist
How Sedation Dentistry can Change the Way You Experience the Dentist

How Sedation Dentistry can Change the Way You Experience the Dentist

One extremely common fear shared by many people is a fear of the dentist. Patients who possess this fear are often anxious and nervous about the sights, sounds and smells of a dentist’s office. Just imagining a routine visit can leave someone shaken and fearful, unable to sleep the nights prior to treatment.

Patients who share this common fear can put off necessary dental work. A fear of pain or needles can lead a patient to tolerate tooth pain or signs of infection in the mouth. If this sounds like you, talk to your dentist about sedation dentistry options.

Many people assume you must be fearful at a phobic level to benefit from sedation dentistry. This isn’t true! Sleeplessness, anxiety and low-level fear can all be helped with some form of sedation dentistry. Oral sedatives can be prescribed to be taken the night prior to a dentist visit, as well as the day of, to ensure a restful night’s sleep and an easy day before treatment.

Sedation dentistry during procedures is very safe, as you are monitored at all times by the dentist. Because of the deep level of relaxation possible utilizing sedation dentistry, more work can be done in a single visit, cutting down on trips to the dental office.

General dentistry procedures such as checkups, regular cleanings and cosmetic treatments can all be performed on a patient being treated with sedation dentistry. For a patient with fear and anxiety, each therapy can be made better with the addition of sedation dentistry.

Over time, with the use of sedation dentistry, some of your fears and anxieties can begin to lessen. Positive experiences can build up mental and emotional trust in the dentist, and patients can find that they need less and less of the sedation to feel comfortable.


If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

How to Know You Need Root Canal Therapy

How to Know You Need Root Canal Therapy

Tooth decay that is allowed to become severe can cause extensive damage to your tooth, even resulting in tooth loss if not treated. Sometimes symptoms are present that cause you to visit your dentist, but other times it’s just a regular checkup that catches a problem.

The source of trouble usually begins with a small area of tooth decay that goes unnoticed. Bacteria attacks, decay thrives, a cavity may form, and infection can spread. Cavities may be filled to repair the tooth and eradicate infection, but advanced cases of decay can reach the tooth’s interior. Once it gets to the pulp, serious damage can set in. This is when symptoms often appear, sometimes becoming severe.

Once damage reaches your tooth’s pulp, some common symptoms that will prompt you to call your dentist may include:

  • Slight to severe pain when biting, chewing, or even putting slight pressure on the tooth
  • Minor to extreme sensitivity when your tooth comes into contact with anything hot or cold
  • Inflammation or swelling near the gum line surrounding the affected tooth
  • Ongoing aches in the general area of the damaged tooth, including headaches, neck aches, or earaches
  • Ulcers or bumps near the damaged tooth
  • Difficulty performing normal mouth functions like eating

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s time to visit your dentist for an evaluation. Root canal therapy might be recommended to restore your tooth’s health and regain comfort and functionality. Root canal treatment involves cleaning the damaged areas of the tooth pulp to remove infection and bacteria, filling the open space, and sealing it to prevent future damage. Sometimes a crown is placed on top to complete the process.

When a tooth is severely damaged, root canal therapy provides your best chance for restoration and optimum oral health. Your dentist will effectively and safely perform the procedure, and at the same time relieve the related symptoms that you may be experiencing.


We treat patients from Morehead City and the surrounding area

Speed Up Your Root Canal Recovery!

Speed Up Your Root Canal Recovery!

If you are about to undergo root canal treatment to save a compromised tooth, your oral surgeon or dentist will likely provide you with a list of aftercare instructions. It is vitally important that you follow these recommendations to avoid complications and ensure the success of your endodontic treatment.

There are a few tips you can follow to speed up your recovery time, promote healing, and prevent serious dental problems and infections following root canal treatment:

  • Do not chew on the treated side of your mouth until all of the numbness from the anesthetic has worn off completely.
  • To manage swelling, apply an ice pack or bag of frozen peas on the treated area for thirty minutes. Repeat once an hour for about fifteen minutes each time until swelling subsides.
  • For several nights after treatment, keep your head elevated while sleeping.
  • Gently rinse your mouth with warm salt water regularly for the first few days after root canal treatment.
  • Refrain from smoking for a minimum of 24 hours and try to curb tobacco usage as much as possible during the healing period.
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity or exercise for 48 hours after your root canal procedure.

Contact your dentist immediately if you experience any excessive swelling or pain, the appearance of a rash or hives, or a return of original symptoms. By listening to the recommendations of your dentist, and following these extra tips, you can assure yourself the best chance of a rapid and complication-free recovery from root canal treatment.


We treat patients from Morehead City and the surrounding area

Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Surgery

Treating Sleep Apnea With Oral Surgery

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition created when a portion of the upper airway is blocked, causing breathing interruptions during sleep and low blood oxygen levels. As many as 20% of adults are affected by mild obstructive sleep apnea, while one in fifteen suffers from more severe apnea.

Symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime drowsiness, restless sleep, high blood pressure, depression, problems with mental function, as well as a host of other mental and physical concerns. Left untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can lead to a long list of serious medical conditions, including hypertension, heart attack and stroke.

If you have been diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea, your doctor may initially treat the condition with a CPAP device that you wear while sleeping. While a CPAP machine will reduce the obstruction to the airway, it is not a cure and will only be effective during use. Other non-surgical treatment recommendations may include the wearing of mouthguards to reposition the jaw, sleep position changes, or weight loss.

Tongue muscle advancement involves moving the bony attachment of the tongue muscles, and can be combined with palatal surgery to reduce excess tissues. This therapy may also include removing enlarged tonsils and nasal surgery. These treatments are most often used for milder cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

However, if these treatments do not work or for more severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea, oral surgery offers solutions to correct apnea. Maxillomandibular Advancement is a procedure that repositions the upper and lower jaw and chin to open the airway. This treatment is highly successful and offers the greatest chance of permanent correction in moderate to severe cases of obstructive sleep apnea.

For more information about how surgical therapies and treatments can be utilized to address your obstructive sleep apnea, consult with a qualified oral and maxillofacial surgeon.


We look forward to seeing you in our Morehead City dental office

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

Risks Associated with Sedation Dentistry

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.


If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

Make Your Big Day Special With Teeth Whitening

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.


If you need a dentist in Morehead City contact us today

Comprehensive Dental Center

Dr. Jack T. Winchester
3705 Symi Circle
Morehead City, NC 28557
252-247-3510

Our practice is conveniently located in Morehead City, NC

Our Hours
Monday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Tuesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Wednesday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Thursday: 8:30 am – 5:30 pm
Friday: Closed

Directions to our office