The Facts about IV Sedation

Sometimes it is necessary to sedate patients during dental procedures to allow them to be more comfortable and to decrease their anxiety. The two methods that dentists typically use are general anesthesia and IV sedation. Let’s learn the differences between these two types of sedation, and more specifics about most dentists’ preferred method of IV sedation.

IV stands for intravenous, and means the medicine is administered through an injection into the veins. It causes you to become very sleepy and unable to feel pain, but you are aware of what’s happening around you and are even able to follow instructions. On the other hand, general anesthesia requires inhaling sedation gas through a mask. This causes total unconsciousness, so that you are unaware of anything going on around you and experience no pain.

Many dentists prefer IV sedation because you can follow commands if needed, and the medication levels can be adjusted easily depending on your oxygen levels, blood pressure, and pulse. IV sedation does impair you enough that you should arrange help with transportation home after the procedure because you will be groggy, and you may experience some nausea. Other than those possible side effects, there are really no other issues to worry about with this type of sedation. IV sedation is considered to be a safe, fast, and painless type of anesthesia when it is necessary during dental treatment.

Longview sedation dentistry

Teeth Whitening Trends

Teeth Whitening Trends

Nobody is happy with yellow or brown teeth. Ugly stains from smoking or consuming foods and drinks prone to discoloring your teeth can make you a good candidate for teeth whitening. There are many techniques available to restore your bright smile. The main two categories of teeth whitening are either at-home kits or professional treatment in a dental office. Let’s learn about these to see which you’d like to use to brighten your smile.

At-home teeth whitening
There are a variety of products you can try yourself to whiten your teeth. These treatments usually take a few weeks of use before your teeth are noticeably whiter. Also remember that most of these products cannot achieve as high of a level of whiteness as those performed professionally.

  • Kits – whitening kits contain a tooth mold and gel to place inside the mold. You wear the filled mold for about 30 minutes for 2-3 weeks.
  • Strips – thin whitening strips are coated with peroxide gel, and then you apply the strips directly to your teeth for 30 minutes for 14 days. Results become evident in a few days and last about four months.
  • Toothpaste – brushing with whitening toothpaste must be done consistently and you must be patient because reaching the desired outcome usually takes a couple of months.

Professional teeth whitening
Treatments done by a dentist are the fastest and most effective way to regain your pearly whites.

  • Laser whitening – the dentist coats your teeth with a hydrogen peroxide solution and then shines a laser light on them. This oxidizes the stains and gives them a whiter appearance.
  • Porcelain veneers – if your teeth are severely stained and other whitening techniques haven’t done the trick, your dentist may recommend porcelain veneers. These shells permanently cover your teeth and provide a beautiful smile.

Teeth Whitening dentist in Longview

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

What’s Keeping You Up at Night?

More than 12 million Americans suffer from sleep apnea, a serious condition that compromises your rest and can impact your health. Some symptoms of sleep apnea include snoring, extreme daytime tiredness, mouth breathing, and irritability. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is the most common type of sleep apnea. Central sleep apnea, much less common, happens when the brain fails to signal your breathing muscles.

Characterized by short episodes of not breathing, which can occur from five to 50 times a night, obstructive sleep apnea is caused when the muscles in your throat relax and your airways become blocked as you sleep. Your brain senses the lack of breathing and wakes you briefly to restore airflow. These episodes disrupt sleep and keep you from feeling rested.

Not only does sleep apnea keep you from getting a good night’s rest, but it can also put your health at risk. Untreated sleep apnea has been linked to high blood pressure, risk of stroke, memory impairment, and weight gain. As well, your sleep partner may not get enough sleep because of your snoring and/or waking episodes.

If you suspect sleep apnea, talk with your dentist, who may recommend a sleep evaluation. Through overnight monitoring, a sleep specialist can determine if you suffer from sleep apnea. Treatment for sleep apnea may include lifestyle modifications such as weight loss, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) mask, or an oral appliance. Your dentist can fit you for night guard that will hold your jaw in the correct position to keep your airways open.

We treat patients from Longview and the surrounding area

Patient Types Who Benefit From Sedation Dentistry

Patient Types Who Benefit From Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is designed mainly to focus on patients experiencing fear and anxiety related to dental treatment; however, it is also an excellent choice for other patient types. Following are the main groups who experience relief and comfort from sedation dentistry:

  • Patients experiencing anxiety and fear or a dental phobia
  • Patients possessing an acute gag reflex
  • Patients who have special needs
  • Patients with physical issues that affect movement
  • Anxious or fearful pediatric patients

Dental professionals want a patient to be as stress-free as possible immediately prior to and during a dental visit. Relieving anxiety and fear can turn an unpleasant, stressful experience into a comfortable visit, resulting in a desire to continue dental health and hygiene by returning for regular examinations and procedures.

An acute gag reflex can leave a patient concerned about vomiting during a dental procedure; in fact, many procedures such as taking impressions or working on the back teeth may be impossible. Sedation dentistry helps patients greatly reduce this gag reflex issue, as it is often exacerbated by anxiety and fear.

Patients who have special needs related to autism, Down Syndrome, or a mental or emotional problem may have real difficulty during dental visits. Other patients may deal with physical conditions such as cerebral palsy, Parkinson’s disease, or other disorders of the central nervous system. Patients in this group may have difficulty following instructions or remaining still. Sedation dentistry solves issues of involuntary muscle movements, allowing the dentist to safely and quickly complete treatment.

Fearful children can be problematic for dentists. Children who cannot be still, comply with instructions, or stop crying can cause time-consuming safety issues. Sedation dentistry allows a dentist to perform treatments without physical restraints that could cause emotional trauma to the child, leading to adult dental phobias and fears.

Visiting the dentist and caring for your dental health should be comfortable. Contact our dental office to see what can be done to make your visit as stress-free as possible using sedation dentistry in Longview.

Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

Warning Signs Dentures May be in Your Future

You may expect you won’t need dentures because you take good care of your teeth. However, dentures are more prevalent than you may think. The number of adults in the United States needing dentures is expected to increase from 33 million in 1991 to 37 million in 2020. If you are wondering how likely you are to keep your teeth, here are some warning signs that may indicate dentures are in your future.

  • You don’t visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and routine cleaning. Gum disease and tooth decay are the leading causes of tooth loss; therefore, it is critical to be proactive with dental care to prevent problems that could cause the need for extraction.
  • You have gums that are swollen, tender, red, or bleeding which are indications of periodontal disease. Left untreated, gum disease is the primary cause of adult tooth loss.
  • Your teeth have become loose, are shifting, or have developed wider gaps between them that can indicate bone loss from gum disease.
  • You have severe tooth pain that could be a sign that decay has progressed and is attacking the nerve at the center of the tooth. Once tooth decay has advanced, it is more likely your tooth will need to be removed.
  • You are already missing several of your teeth. If you are missing more than two teeth, it is important to replace them with some sort of prosthesis to keep pressure off of your remaining teeth.
  • It is difficult for you to eat hard candy or chewy foods, which may indicate a cracked tooth, cavities, or gum disease.
  • If you suffer from recurring stomach aches or indigestion, it may be a sign of dental problems. When you can’t chew properly, you end up swallowing larger pieces of food which is hard on your digestion.

Tooth loss does not happen overnight. With proper oral hygiene and regular dental visits, you may be able to avoid or delay the need for dentures in your future.

We look forward to seeing you in our Longview dental office

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Rules for the First Days of Wearing Dentures

Once you’ve received dentures to restore missing teeth, it will take some time to get accustomed to them. There’s no reason to be alarmed or frightened about wearing dentures, because most patients go through the same adjustment period. If you’re aware of the potential issues and how to react to them, the process will be easier for you. Here are some rules to follow as you begin wearing dentures.

Don’t try to fix them yourself.

Even though dentures are customized just for you, that doesn’t mean they always fit perfectly right away. There might be some molding defects or other minor flaws that cause the dentures not to fit exactly right or rub sores on your gums. If this happens, don’t try to correct the problem yourself. Take your dentures back to your dentist to explain what’s bothering you, and give your dentist a chance to properly and safely adjust them without damaging the dentures.

Watch your diet.

Similar to getting braces at first, you’ll want to stick to eating soft foods for the first few days of denture wear. Avoid foods that are sticky or hard to chew. Focus on chewing with your back teeth instead of the front part of your dentures, and cut your food into small bites.

Soak your dentures.

Soaking your dentures in a solution recommended by your dentist can help keep them hydrated. This will avoid dryness, which causes friction between your dentures and gums and can lead to mouth sores.

You’re going to unintentionally bite yourself.

It’s part of wearing dentures at first; you’ll probably bite the insides of your cheeks. It’s a natural part of adjusting to the appliance in your mouth, and it will subside as you get used to wearing them. Gargling with a fluoride rinse or other mouthwash provided by your dentist may provide relief.

If you need a dentist in Longview contact us today