Tag Archives: sedation dentistry

How long will I sleep after sedation at the dentist?

I hate going to the dentist. I haven’t had any one particular bad experience, but I get anxious just thinking about going. My fear of getting cavities is what has kept me going in for my cleanings every six months. Unfortunately, when I went in this week for my cleaning, they found a cavity I need to get filled. Now I’m freaking out. My mom suggests that I get sedated for the appointment, but how long will I sleep? Is it like the recovery room after surgery? I don’t have anyone who can take me home.

Jay, Fayetteville, AR

Dear Jay,

You are not alone in your fear of having cavities filled. Doctors who offer sedation dentistry understand that fear.  They can help you keep your mouth healthy while keeping you comfortable.

Understanding sedation dentistry

There is a notion that when you use sedation to get your dental work done that you are asleep for the visit. This isn’t usually the case. Your doctor will use medication to help you be relaxed and calm during the visit, but you will likely still be awake. It’s as if you are aware of what the dentist is doing, but you don’t care. You may not remember anything after the procedure. Because you are still awake for the work to be done, you can understand instructions from your dentist.

When the dentist is done, you may still feel a little groggy. That’s why it is required that you have someone there with you at your appointment to drive you home after. If you don’t have someone who can be with you, using nitrous oxide for your cavity may be a better option.

Nitrous oxide, or laughing gas, will give you a similar feeling of comfort for your appointment, but as soon as your procedure is done, the sleepy, groggy feeling goes away. Instead of being a pill you take, you breathe it in. This may be a better option for you to get your dental work done without being stranded at the dentist’s office.

Your best place to start is to speak to you dentist’s office about your options. That way you can understand before you go what to expect, what that appointment will look like for you, as well as costs. You’ll be able to ask any questions you have.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.

 

 

Dentist or Oral Surgeon?

I’m going to honest and just admit I avoid the dentist. I had a filling fall out. I avoided the dentist. Then I needed a root canal treatment. I did get that, but it was rather traumatic. So, I didn’t go back for the crown. Now my tooth was hurting so badly that I had to go to a dentist again. Though I did go to a different dentist. He told me the tooth is too far gone and needs to be removed. However, he said it’s extensive enough that I may consider an oral surgeon because he’d have to cut through both gum and bone. I like the idea of it not costing as much going to the local dentist, but wonder if it’s not safe and that’s why he mentioned an oral surgeon.

Patty

Dear Patty,

Someone asleep from dental sedation

I hate it when dentists say stuff like this. It makes patients uneasy. They wonder if they’re being unsafe choosing the more financially feasible option for them. I don’t know if your dentist phrased it that way because he’s uncomfortable with the procedure and he was trying to steer you another direction or if he’s perfectly comfortable doing it and just giving you non-opinioned options.

I’d ask your dentist a few questions before making a decision:

  • How comfortable does he feel with the procedure?
  • Has he done this type of extraction before?
  • What type of sedation does he offer?
  • What are the roots like? Straight and tapered or twisted with knobs?

The Importance of a Sedation Dentist for You

Based on what you’ve described of your oral hygiene habits, you have dental anxiety. It’s not uncommon. However, it wreaks havoc on your oral health, as you’ve discovered. If you were comfortable going to the dentist when your filling first came out, you wouldn’t be facing this difficult extraction and then facing pricey tooth replacement options.

Dental Sedation will change your life. However, at your level of anxiety (and especially for your extraction procedure), you will need something stronger than just nitrous oxide. You will need oral conscious sedation. This is strong enough to allow you to sleep through the procedure.

You will be able to have stress-free dental appointments from now on and even get all your teeth back in shape.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Do My Wisdom Teeth Need an Emergency Dentist?

My wisdom teeth bother me on and off with some swelling. Now it’s a lot worse. In fact, I haven’t been able to eat for two days. I’m miserable.  It’s normally better by now. Do I need to do anything?

Sylvia – Connecticut

Sylvia,

My suspicion is you aren’t under the regular care of a dentist. When there is recurrent pain, such as you described, a dentist generally recommends you have the wisdom teeth removed. Recurring swelling is an indication there’s a problem. Your wisdom teeth can blow up into a serious infection in no time and then you can have a huge problem on your hands. In fact, I think you’re there now.

Tooth infections spread and can become life threatening. I’d like you to see an emergency dentist. They’ll evaluate your wisdom teeth and see if it’s infected.

I’m concerned with the fact that you can’t eat. I wouldn’t be surprised if you woke up with your face swollen in a day or so.

Please don’t put this off. If you’re someone who suffers from dental anxiety, I don’t want you to feel cornered or to allow it to keep you from the dentist. There are emergency dentists who offer sedation dentistry. You can get your wisdom teeth examined and even extracted completely pain free.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

 

CEREC Crowns and Teeth Grinding

My husband says I’m just finding excuses because I’m afraid of the dentist, but I think it’s a legitimate concern. I’m scheduled to get a CEREC crown next week. But, the more I think about it, I think it won’t hold up with nighttime grinding the way my normal teeth do. Am I right?

Cecelia M. – North Dakota

Cecelia,

In a way, you’re both right. CEREC crowns will not hold up to nighttime grinding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it. Here’s why. First, you need a crown. Leaving your tooth untreated will cause you serious problems in a very short timespan.

Second, your natural teeth will not bear up under the grinding either. In fact, your grinding is likely what led to you needing a crown to begin with.

Get the CEREC crown, then get fitted for a nightguard to protect all your teeth–real and replacement.

However, all that being said, your dental anxiety can be dealt with too. You don’t have to put yourself through the anxiety. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. It can give you a worry-free and pain-free appointment. Likely, it will change your view of going to the dentist forever.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Is it OK to take a Xanax before seeing an emergency dentist?

I’m afraid of the dentist, but I have a pretty severe toothache. I haven’t been to a dentist in years because of the fear. I know I need to go in, but I get sweaty just thinking about it. I do have some Xanax pills. Could I take one of those before going in to settle my mind and emotions?

Melana L. – Michigan

Melana,

You’re not alone in your fear of the dentist, so don’t feel bad about that. I’m glad you realize that it is time to go in. It’s better to be proactive before this gets worse. If you have a tooth infection, it WILL spread.

While the xanax will relax you, it will limit what your emergency dentist can give you and could effect how he treats you. I have a different suggestion that will allow you to get the care you need, while being relaxed, without having to self medicate.

I’d go to an emergency dentist that also does oral conscious sedation. It will completely relax you and give you a pain free appointment.

You will, however, need someone to drive you to and from the appointment, as you’ll be a little too loopy to drive yourself.

I hope this puts you at ease. This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Why can’t I get numb?

I’ve been to the dentist twice to get a procedure done, but he hasn’t been able to get me numb.  We end up abandoning the procedure.  What’s the deal?

Danny B. – New Jersey

Danny,

It’s possible that you have some form of dental anxiety, even without realizing it.  That can cause your body to burn up the anesthetic before it has a chance to really take effect.

Sometimes using something as simple as nitrous oxide will relax you enough for the numbing medicine to take effect.  If that doesn’t work, you’ll need a stronger type of dental sedation.

I would go to a sedation dentist and let them know what is going on. You will likely have your first completely pain free dental appointment, which should really help with that anxiety.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.

I’m too scared to go to the dentist

I know I need to go to the dentist, but everytime I think about scheduling an appointment, I start shaking. My last appointment was like a medieval torture session. Is there something I can take to make this hurt less without interfering with the local?

Deidre K. – Pasadena, CA

Deidre,

I’m sorry your last appointment was so unpleasant. It is not uncommon for people with a difficult dental experience to develop a form of dental anxiety. That seems to be what you’re going through.

There is something you can take. Most dentists who practice sedation dentistry can give you a pill for oral conscious sedation. A lot of those dentists like treating fearful patients. They want to help them get past their fear. They’ll even call it catering to cowards.

I’d call around to see if you can find a dentist like that in your area.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

My child’s teeth are in bad shape

My daughter is five years old and she needs a lot of dental work done. She has two cavities on her molars that are pretty deep into the tooth. And two other molars are decayed and have lost their structure. In fact, about one-third of the tooth is gone. I don’t know what to do. Should I have the decayed teeth extracted? I really don’t want to have her teeth pulled if we don’t need to. She is also complaining about pain during chewing in one of the right molars. Do I need a pediatric dentist now? Unfortunately, she is not cooperative at the dentist which is a major reason we are in this situation.

– Carrie from Nebraska

Carrie,

From what you have described it sounds like you need to visit a pediatric dentist. At her age, she only has baby teeth in her mouth so eventually she will lose them. But, she does require those teeth to be in good shape so she can eat and keep the spaces for the upcoming permanent teeth. If the teeth are removed, then space maintainers will be needed so the permanent molars don’t cause crowding to her other teeth. There are pediatric dentists that do sedation dentistry. It is worth it if that is what is needed to get her smile healthy again. Cavities and decay at this age are largely due to the frequency in which children eat. From what it sounds like with the condition of her teeth now, she may be eating all day long, asking for treats constantly, etc. You need to discourage this kind of behavior and allow enough time between meals for her hunger to build up so you can break this habit. Over time, her dietary behavior will improve which will improve her dental health as well.

Dentists understand that kids will lose their teeth so they tend to think more temporarily. A crown may be used to treat the decayed molar versus extracting the tooth.

Good luck to you. I hope this information was helpful.

This post is sponsored by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

Related link: Sleep dentistry; dental anxiety

My porcelain veneers are not smooth

My porcelain veneers do not feel smooth on my five upper, front teeth. Basically, when I run my tooth over them they do not feel slick like my normal teeth. I have gone back to the dentist that did them to have them polished two times. Also, I think they look pasty.

-Carrie from California

Dear Carrie,

Unfortunately, from what you have described it does not sound as if your dentist knows how to polish your porcelain veneers. Another issue could be that he originally used a laboratory that may not have made the most natural-looking veneers.

Many general dentists claim that they can do porcelain veneers. The problem is that they need to look as life-like as possible. It truly take an “artist” to perfect this technique. That is why there is so much additional training and education to be considered a cosmetic dentist.

Porcelain veneers do not require polish. The process in which they are made when they are fired in the porcelain oven gives them a glaze. This coating is very stain resistant and durable. There are occasions where polishing is required when a dentist that is maintaining them does not treat them properly.

I would recommend consulting with a true cosmetic dentist. They should be able to polish them properly and ultimately give you the natural, beautiful look you are after.

This post was provided by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.

Other links:

Learn more about sedation dentistry.

Learn more about dental implants.

Recovering addict needing dental treatment

I am recovering from an opiate addiction and I am currently on methadone maintenance. I really need to get into a dentist as soon as possible since my teeth are in very bad shape. I have extensive dental work that is required. The last dentist I visited wouldn’t give me any pain medication once they learned I was on methadone. I encouraged him to contact the clinic I attend so they could grant permission. My doctor and counselor would have been more than willing to discuss this. In the past I’ve dealt with serious dental anxiety too. Can you recommend a way that I can proceed in attempting to get a dentist to help me. I desperately want to be out of pain.

-Vince from Oregon

Vince,

Unfortunately many dentists and doctors alike are afraid of the Drug Enforcement Administration. Sometimes it is easier for a dentist to refuse treatment than deal with potential issues that may come out of prescribing pain medication. Some dentists tell about times where they got in hot water with the DEA just because they exercised compassion. Sadly, the patient is the one that suffers as this happens more often.

A good starting point in finding a compassionate dentist would be to find one that practices sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry. Be upfront about your situation and your request for post-operative pain medication. Many dentists are empathetic and genuinely want to help people. Keep looking. You will find someone that can help.

This post was provided by Gilbert dentist Vista Dorada Dental.