Sedation: Taking the Fear Out of Dental Care
As we age, we come to understand that a lot of the things we didn’t enjoy as kids were actually for our own benefit. Even some of these things, such as eating our vegetables or going to bed early, may end up becoming favorite activities. But let’s be real, when you’re stuck in a dentist’s office and you hear an eight-year-old boy having a meltdown, you can relate! Going to the dentist is rarely anyone’s favorite thing to do.
For many people, the thought of a dental appointment can be intimidating and even anxiety-inducing. Unfortunately, this fear of the dentist has caused about 15% of Americans to avoid regular check-ups altogether. This can lead to larger and more painful dental issues in the long run, as small dental problems are left untreated. Thus, it is important to confront this fear and make regular visits to the dentist to ensure good oral health.
At Amazing Smiles, we want you to know we understand coming to see us can seem intimidating, and we are committed to making your visit as comfortable as possible. Among other things we do to welcome you to our office, we can make most procedures relatively painless, thanks to the power of modern medicine.
Usually, a local anesthetic is enough to manage your pain. However, for some people pain isn’t the only concern. Patients who suffer from anxiety, for example, may be concerned the discomfort of a procedure will cause elevated anxiety. If that’s the case for you, don’t worry! Sedation can make your visit a breeze!
Controlling Dental Pain: Local Anesthesia vs. General Anesthesia vs. Sedation
Dentists use three primary methods to manage patients’ pain and stress during procedures:
- Local anesthesia: numbs the immediate area being worked on
- General anesthesia: makes you unconscious for the duration
- Sedative medication: calms you – dentists can choose different levels of sedative
Local anesthesia is applied directly to the skin or muscle in the area the dentist plans to work on, using either a swab or syringe. Alternatively, sedative medication can be administered to the patient through a needle or catheter inserted into a vein. This sedation puts the patient in a semi-conscious state, allowing them to respond to verbal commands without the need for close monitoring like with general anesthesia, in which the patient is completely unconscious.
Many sedatives leave the patient with no memory of the procedure, so they don’t have to worry they will have traumatic memories of the procedure. A combination of local anesthesia and sedative medication makes a patient’s experience both painless and more emotionally comfortable.
Oral sedatives (by mouth) often simply calm a person’s nerves a bit. These sedatives leave the patient fully conscious but help them relax during the dental procedure.
The type of sedation a dentist uses depends on individual needs of each patient.
Going to the dentist may not ever be one of your favorite things, but at Amazing Smiles we have ways (including sedation) to ensure your dental visit is as comfortable as possible. If you have questions about how we can accommodate you during your visit, or if you have specific questions about any procedure, give us a call at (708)444-7645, and we’ll be happy to ease your anxiety!
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are a safe and effective way to replace a single missing tooth, multiple teeth, or secure dentures and other large prostheses. Dental implants consist of an artificial root and a manufactured tooth that can be placed on it.
Why a Dental Implant?
There are several benefits that can make dental implants the best option for replacing missing teeth:
- Dental implants stabilize bone levels and can prevent bone loss
- Dental implants provide greater long-term support and functionality
- Dental implants stabilize dentures
- Dental implants provide an artificial root system, which keeps the remaining teeth in line
- Dental implants do NOT require alteration of adjacent teeth.
Are There Different Types of Dental Implants?
Yes. The most common type of dental implant are endosteal implants. Endosteal implants consist of a metal rod installed into the jawbone and a supporting post that secures either a dental crown or a dental bridge.
Another common type of dental implant are All-on-4 implants. These revolutionary systems consist of an entire top or bottom denture that is supported by just four implants. The implants are placed so that replacement teeth remain steady and secure. The advantage of the All-on-4 implants is that they help patients recover faster and reduce the chances of complications.
What Does the Procedure Entail?
First, our dentist will examine the area in your mouth where you’re considering a dental implant. Then, an oral surgeon will need to decide if there are any current teeth that need to be removed and which type of bone graft needs to be done. These procedures will take place first, followed by enough recovery time to heal to ensure an adequate and strong bone is present at the implant site. Then, the dental implant is placed into the bone and a healing cap is placed over the implant. You will need to follow up with regular check-ups after to insure proper healing and that there is no infection.
Are Dental Implants Right for me?
If you have loose or missing teeth, or were born without a tooth, dental implants may be right for you. If you’re considering dental implants, give Amazing Smiles in Tinley Park, IL a call at 708-444-7645 or schedule an appointment online.
Why Are My Teeth Stained?
To many people a morning coffee or afternoon glass of wine is a ritual that cannot be disturbed or broken, but as there are many joys that come with those drinks there are still many enamel straining prices. There are 3 different types of staining that can happen to your teeth and different causes. Learn more below. If you are unhappy with the color of your smile, Amazing Smiles in Tinley Park, IL can help!
Types of Stains:
Tooth discoloration can be caused by surface stains, material changes in your teeth, or a mix of the two. Tooth discoloration can be divided into three types, according to dentists:
- Extrinsic Teeth Stains: These stains are a type of discoloration that affects the outer layer of your teeth. Extrinsic stains are not as permanent as the other types, these stains will not respond to simply brushing your teeth. If there are cracks on the teeth they can become deep-set and begin to be harder to remove.
- Intrinsic Teeth Stains: This type of stain will be found on the inner layer of your teeth, or the dentin. Though dentin is beneath the tooth enamel, the darkened dentin can cause the whole tooth to appear discolored.
- Age-Related Teeth Stains: Age-related teeth stains are a combination of both extrinsic and intrinsic discoloration. The core tissue of your teeth, the dentin, will naturally yellow over time causing your teeth to become discolored. Another factor that may cause your teeth to show discoloration is that the enamel of your teeth will become thinner allowing the dentin to show through.
Causes of Enamel Stains
There can be many causes when it comes to teeth stains. Certain drinks and foods can cause there to be stains on your teeth, but there can be a biological factor as well. Many times there can be ways to prevent these stains from appearing on your teeth and many that you can not control. This list can help you determine what the cause was behind the stains on your teeth.
- Food & Drink: Coffee, dark sodas, red wine and some fruits and vegetables can be so acidic that they cause staining.
- Tobacco: Cigarettes and chewing tobacco can contribute to discoloration
- Oral Care: Tooth discoloration can be caused by poor dental hygiene, such as insufficient brushing or flossing.
- Trauma or Disease: Discolored teeth can result from any trauma, illness, or disease that impairs enamel formation in children, whether in the womb or while teeth are developing (under the age of 8). Adult teeth can sometimes become stained as a result of trauma. Discolored teeth can be caused by a number of disorders and therapies, chemotherapy and radiation, for example, cause tooth discoloration.
- Medical Treatments: There are times when some medical treatments can contribute to your teeth staining as well as some medications.
Ways to Help Clear Stains
There are a few remedies that can help lessen the impact of these causes. With help of some products, the coloration of your stains can become less apparent, but will not fully remove those stains.
- Keeping a consistent healthy oral routine – brushing twice a day and daily flossing
- Twice-yearly visit to your dentist
- Limitation of teeth-staining beverages
- At home remedies – brushing with baking soda products
- Professional teeth whitening
If you are interested in getting your teeth back to pearly white, contact Amazing Smiles today for a professional teeth whitening session!