Tag Archives: sleep dentistry

Must I Go to an Oral Surgeon to Get Dental Work Done?

My dentist tried to numb me for two different procedures. Neither time worked. I’ve always ended up having to go to an oral surgeon and have my work done with an I.V. that knocks me out. That makes getting any dental care quite expensive. Am I condemned to spending a fortune and still not having healthy teeth? Have you heard of someone in my situation before? Is there a different solution?

Matt

Hi Matt,

Someone asleep from dental sedation

Yes, I think I know exactly what is going on here. The great news for you is there is a solution. One thing I’ve found is that patients with dental anxiety have trouble getting numb. Sometimes it will seem like the numbing medication is working but once the work starts, they can feel pain. However, if they can be relaxed with something like nitrous oxide before the Novocain is administered, then when they are relaxed give them the numbing medicine, it works almost every time.

Some patients have such a high level of anxiety that they need a stronger level of sedation. For those patients, I recommend oral conscious sedation.

For either of these, you will not have to see an oral surgeon. Just do an internet search for a “Sedation Dentist”. They are able to help you in the office, saving you a good amount of money. You will also find that if you use oral conscious sedation, your dentist will be able to do a lot more work in each sitting. This will allow you to catch up on your work more efficiently. In fact, you’ll probably sleep through all the work.

One thing to be aware of, however, is oral conscious sedation, though administered with a simple pill, is so strong you will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

Once you’ve caught up with your work, if you’re looking for a quick, inexpensive way to improve the appearance of your smile quickly, I’d consider teeth whitening. That one procedure takes years off the appearance of your smile.

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

How Much Dental Work Can be Done at Once?

I will be honest and admit that I have neglected going to the dentist for many years now. However, it has gotten to the point that I need to do something. I can see decay and a couple of broken teeth. I’m sure I need even more work than I think I do. In order to get this over with fairly quickly (you can probably tell dentists aren’t my favorite thing), how much work can be done in one sitting, so I can minimize the appointments?

Kirk

Dear Kirk,

Someone asleep from dental sedation

While each dentist varies from office to office in how much they’ll do at each appointment, you will find the dentists who are willing to do the most in one sitting are sedation dentists. There is a procedure, oral conscious sedation (OCS), that enables both the patient and the dentist to get through more work at a time. Some people have dubbed it sleep dentistry because they are so relaxed they end up sleeping through the entire procedure.

There are many reasons patients avoid the dentist. One of the leading causes is dental anxiety, which can usually be traced back to a traumatic dental appointment. Having a means to experience stress-free and pain-free appointments with OCS has changed many lives.

Avoiding a Dental Emergency

Hopefully, you’ll find a sedation dentist fairly soon. I am especially concerned about the broken and decayed teeth. These can quickly turn into a dental emergency if the pulp of the tooth becomes infected. When you think about how close your jaw is to your heart, lungs, and brain, you can see how a simple tooth infection can turn life-threatening.

People tend to underestimate the seriousness of toothaches, which is why even in the twenty-first century we still have people who die from a tooth infection.

I’m not saying this to frighten you. I just want you to recognize, if the tooth starts to feel pain or if a pimple develops on your gums, both are signs of an infected tooth and you will need to be seen as soon as possible.

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

This Dentist Doesn’t Understand Tooth Infections

I had a tooth infection and went to see a dentist. It’s my first time with this dentist. To be honest, I usually avoid dentists but this one couldn’t be helped I was in so much pain. He gave me and antibiotic and I started to get better, but now I’m worse again. Do I need a second round or did I have the wrong antibiotic?

Leslie

Dear Leslie,

A woman grabbing her jaw in need of an emergency dentist

Either there is some miscommunication between you and your dentist or he has a profound lack of understanding of how dental infections work. An antibiotic is only useful to hold off a dental infection. It won’t cure it. In order for a tooth infection to be completely treated, a dentist has to get in there and physically remove the infected pulp. This can be done by a root canal treatment or by extracting the tooth completely.

It is always better to try and save a tooth, so a root canal would be my first recommendation. If your dentist didn’t tell you this would be necessary and just prescribed you antibiotics and sent you on your way, I would consider this gross negligence on his part.

Yes, you would start to feel better after taking the antibiotics, because they were doing their job. Once they ran out, however, because the infected pulp is still there, it rears its ugly head again. This will continue to spread and what was a dental emergency can turn into a life-threatening emergency rather quickly. This is because your heart, lungs, and brain are all close to your jaw. This needs to be treated.

Dealing with Dental Anxiety

I noticed you said you usually avoid dentists. That is a common issue, especially with patients who suffer from some dental anxiety. If that is you., one step you can take that will help is to see a sedation dentist when you go in for your treatment. They can provide you with a pill that will completely relax you, allowing you to get the dental care you need in an anxiety-free and pain-free way.

Please don’t put this treatment off. It’s important. Sadly, people still die from tooth infections.

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

How Much is Too Much Dental Work to Get at One Time?

Hello,

My dentist recommended I get a lot of dental work – both cosmetic and general work. I need some cavities filled, one tooth filed down, and several root canals done. I’d also like to get my teeth whitened at this time. Can I get all of this done at once? Or will it take multiple visits?

Tammy, from Mesa, Arizona.

 

Hi Tammy,

To get the most work done at once, you’ll need a sedation dentist. The dentist will put you under oral conscious sedation. Without the sedation, it varies from dentist to dentist how much they will do at one time.

The procedures you need done are not complicated. However, it depends on where in your mouth you need the root canals done. It will take double the time if the root canals are needed in the back of your mouth, versus the front. Your best bet may be to see an endodontist for the root canals, as they are the most experienced and can work fastest.

If you have an experienced root canal dentist or endodontist that can work quickly, your appointment can be completed in about four hours. However, this also depends on your endurance. Without sedation, it may be best to break up the appointments.

This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert dentist, Dr. Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.

 

How Can I Get My Dentist to be More Gentle?

Hello,

I’ve been seeing my dentist for a few years now, and I’m happy with him, but he is the worst at giving shots. My last dentist gave me shots and they didn’t hurt this badly. I had to get numbed to get a cavity filled, and worked up the courage to ask him to be more gentle. He brushed off my concerns, saying that shots are supposed to hurt. The shots he gives are unbearable. I need another filling, and I’m dreading going back to this dentist. Is there anything I can do?

Jirard in Los Angeles

 

Hi Jirard,

The truth is, numbing a patient with minimal discomfort takes skill, time, and patience. If your dentist leaves the numbing gel on for some time, or delivers the injection slowly, this will lessen the discomfort. This gives your body time to adjust to the numbing agent. Injecting it quickly can cause the skin to stretch from too much liquid, and can increase pain.

Your dentist is placing the numbing agent as close to the affected area as possible, but trying to avoid the nerve. Everyone’s bodies are different, so it’s possible he came too close to your nerve, or even hit it. Hitting a nerve sends a shockwave of pain through your mouth.

You did the right thing by speaking up. However, your dentist not only dismissed your concerns, he refused to try. This is a major red flag, and shows he lacks in bedside manner.

There is something you can do to minimize pain. Make sure you are hydrated, as this can make getting numb easier. Also, feeling anxiety before numbing can cause a counter effect, where it’s harder to get numb. You can try relaxing techniques before going to the dentist, or ask for nitrous oxide to relax in place of the shot.

Since you are dreading going back to this particular dentist, it may be time to look for a sedation dentist in your area. Sedation dentists focus on gentle dentistry, which can reduce dental anxiety and pain. It may be worthwhile to find a dentist that listens to your needs.

This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert gentle dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper, of Vista Dorada Dental.

 

 

Can You Get Sick from Dental Sedation?

Hi,

I started seeing a gentle dentist for my dental anxiety. Sedation is supposed to calm your nerves, but I’m worried about getting it at my upcoming dentist’s appointment. I’ve heard it causes nausea, and the painkillers you get afterwards can cause drowsiness. Those two side-effects mixed together is a recipe for disaster. I’ve never had any adverse reactions to medications before, but I’m still worried. Is choking on your own vomit a risk after dental sedation? Or am I overthinking this?

Samira, Sterling, Colorado

 

Hi there Samira,

There are different levels of sedation and medication a dentist can provide.

The first is nitrous oxide, Also known as laughing gas. This is the sedation of choice for gentle dentists, because it works fast and wears off quickly afterwards, before you even leave the office. You may experience some nausea afterwards, but not necessarily vomiting. Most procedures using nitrous are relatively short, but the longer you are under sedation, however, the amount of nausea you may experience increases. To reduce this risk, don’t eat before your appointment.

The second is oral conscious sedation (OCS): This method uses nitrous oxide and an oral medication (like a sedative, anti-anxiety medication, or anti-histamine) prescribed by your dentist. The type of medication prescribed will depend on your dentist’s personal preference and which one best suits your needs; for instance, at Dr. Roper’s office, he prescribes Triazolam, a safe method of oral sedation.

It’s also recommended you have someone take you to your appointment and check in with you for a few hours after the appointment. Again, to combat nausea, your dentist will schedule you for a morning appointment, and instruct you to not eat the night before or morning of your appointment. Even with this stronger sedation, no cases of asphyxiation during sleep have occurred, so please do not worry.

In summation, nausea is a common side-effect of sedation, but vomiting is not. Talk to your doctor about your fears, and they should be able to give you advice on how to minimize your experience with side-effects.

This blog post is brought to you by Gilbert sedation dentist, Dr. Matthew Roper.

Dental numbing medications don’t work on me

I have found that numbing drugs do not work on me, like they typically would on patients. After several horrific experiences, it has been determined that I am extremely sensitive to the numbing drugs that dentists use and have learned that the only way for me to handle a dental procedure is to be unconscious. Do you have experience with patients like me?

Sincerely,
Richard


Richard,

There are many patients who have similar experiences with numbing drugs. For some, nitrous oxide will calm them enough for a drug like novocaine to work. However, others need to be completely sedated to become numb. If we are stressed or anxious enough, there is something in our body chemistry that prevents novocaine from working completely, or causes it to quickly wear off. It is typical for a patient to be hesitant to admit they have experienced something traumatic with a dental procedure. When this is the case, they would be given an injection of novocaine to numb the injection spot, allowing the dentist to know they are ready to proceed with the work. However, they begin to feel pain once the procedure has begun. This leads to nitrous oxide gas. However, if the dentist doesn’t wait long enough after administering the gas, the patient will still fill the pain. If a dentist waits until the patient is in a very relaxed state, then administers the novocaine again, they are typically fine. Sometimes, patients will need a stronger sedation and then for the novocaine to be administered again after they are fully sedated. This typically happens to patients who have had traumatic dental experiences.

It would be a good idea for you to look for a sedation dentist, or one with sleep dentistry experience. Conscious sedation is a more affordable dentistry option than general anesthesia. It is also safer and easier to administer. In fact, most patients are unable to recall the appointment. However, if this option doesn’t work for you, you may need to go the general anesthesia route.

This article was brought to you by Gilbert sedation dentist, Dr. Matt Roper.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Going to a sedation dentist because of anxiety is giving me anxiety!

I really don’t like the dentist, like really, really don’t like going to the dentist. My mom has suggested that I find a sedation dentist, but the thought of going to a dentist appointment and sleeping through the whole thing while a dentist I don’t know is working in my mouth is almost as scary to me as being awake.  With my anxiety, I just don’t understand how sedation is going to make it easier for me.

Alana, West Virginia

Dear Alana,

pleasant dentistrySedation dentistry was started with people like you in mind. It doesn’t matter whether your anxiety stems from a bad experience in the past with another dentist or it has just developed for another reason, sedation dentists are trained to help you have a good experience while taking care of your teeth.

What can a sedation dentist do for you?

To address your concerns about sleeping through the appointment, let’s paint you a picture of what the different options for sedation look like.

  • For someone who is a little nervous in the dentist’s chair, sometimes nitrous oxide (better known as laughing gas) is the perfect solution. Nitrous oxide is great because it works quickly and wear off quickly. The sedative is breathed in through a mask and you are awake throughout the appointment, but feel relaxed. There is no lasting effect that carries over after the appointment. You are alert and able to drive home.
  • For someone whose anxiety is more intense, oral conscious sedation is an option. With this route, an oral medication is taken before your appointment.  This medication allows you to be very relaxed. You are so relaxed that, although you are awake, you may feel like you were asleep. Because you are awake, you still respond to the dentist and can understand his instructions. Many patients have no recollection of the time in the chair. Because this medication has longer reaching effects, someone has to accompany you so they can take you home afterwards.
  • Most patients fit into the first two categories, so not every sedation dentist even offers the third option, which is sedation using an IV. This is for extreme cases of anxiety or other factors.

Visiting with a sedation dentist, sharing your concerns, and asking questions is a great first step. You can develop a plan that you are comfortable with so you can get the care you need for a great smile.

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.

Can an Emergency Dentist Help with an Excruciating Canker Sore?

I’ve had what I think is a canker sore for a week. It’s excruciating. I don’t know why I get these. I wasn’t able to eat last night. Can an emergency dentist help me?

Melinda B.

Dear Melinda,

A Man in pain and in need of an emergency dentist

Because you get them all the time, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to see a doctor or dentist to find out why. Sometimes what we think are canker sores are actually a virus or cancer in disguise. That being said, I don’t think an emergency dental visit is necessary. Though I will add it concerns me that you can’t eat at the moment.

Have you tried any over-the-counter remedies? There are gels and pads you can put on them to try and numb them out. The pads are hard to keep on because of the moist nature of our mouths. You can also try some salt water rinses.

Canker Sores tend to run themselves out in about 10-14 days, so it looks like your almost there. If it goes much beyond that a dentist visit is in order.

If you get regular cleanings and check-ups from your dentist they should be screening you for oral cancers, so I wouldn’t be too concerned if they hadn’t mentioned anything.

Avoiding Dental Emergencies

If you’re someone who avoids the dentist, you could be inadvertently shooting yourself in the foot. Our mouths are loaded with bacteria so doing what we can to keep them clean and healthy with preventative care could help stave off some of these sores.

I do understand that many people have a phobia when it comes to going to the dentist. If this is you, don’t feel bad. Many Americans share your feelings. There is a way to have anxiety-free appointments these days.

Ask your dentist about sleep dentistry. It will enable you to get the oral health care you need, while resting comfortably in a chair. Most people use the time for a nap. Though I will warn you you’ll feel groggy throughout the day and will need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

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