Oral Conscious Sedation: Frequently Asked Questions

Fear and anxiety make dental treatment a challenge for many people. Sedation dentistry offers many options to help patients overcome their fears and experience a more comfortable, relaxing treatment. One of the most common options in sedation dentistry is oral conscious sedation. Here are some common questions about oral conscious sedation and answers about how it can help alleviate your stress about undergoing dental procedures:

  • What is oral conscious sedation? This type of sedation utilizes a combination of pain relievers and sedatives to induce an altered state of consciousness that allows you to undergo all kinds of dental treatment in a totally relaxed and comfortable state.
  • Am I asleep during the procedure? Patients who receive oral conscious sedation are drowsy but awake and able to communicate with their dental professional. This type of dental sedation allows you to be relaxed but aware.
  • Will I feel pain during the dental treatment? With oral conscious sedation, you will most likely not feel any discomfort or pain.
  • Is oral conscious sedation safe? While it is considered safe for most patients, your dentist will evaluate your medical and dental health to determine if you are a good candidate for oral sedation.
  • Can I resume normal activity immediately after receiving oral sedation? Because you may still be slightly drowsy and under the effects of the medication, it is advised that you arrange to have a friend or family member drive you home after treatment.
  • Will I have bad memories of my dental treatment? With oral conscious sedation, you will feel completely relaxed and have little to no memory of your dental procedures.

Thanks to sedation dentistry options like oral conscious sedation, you no longer have to dread or postpone necessary dental treatment due to fear and anxiety. Contact your dentist to find out how they can help you conquer your fears and restore your oral health with this gentle approach to dentistry.


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Wisdom Teeth Can be a Pain

Tooth pain can be one of the most uncomfortable types of pain there is. It can make your whole jaw and head ache, interfere with eating, and cause your teeth to be more sensitive. One common reason for a toothache is your wisdom teeth, which are the molars in the very back of your mouth that develop last. Sometimes they don’t even erupt, but they can still be there under your gums causing trouble. If you experience pain related to wisdom teeth, here are some suggestions.

Make an appointment to see your dentist as soon as possible. This way you can find out for sure if your wisdom teeth are to blame for your pain, and decide the best treatment plan for your situation. A dentist examination, which may include x-rays, is the best way to determine exactly what’s going on with your teeth. You may not even be able to see your wisdom teeth, but they might be growing improperly under your gums. Often, wisdom teeth need to be extracted to avoid continued pain or worsening condition. Luckily, wisdom teeth extraction is a common procedure that your dentist or oral surgeon is very familiar with, and can provide you with great treatment that will end up relieving your pain.

While waiting for your dental appointment, try applying an over-the-counter numbing gel such as Oragel. This may help relieve your pain at least for a short time. Also, taking non-prescription pain medicines should help. Acetaminophen and ibuprofen are both good choices to try, especially to subdue the pain when you want to sleep.

Remember that prevention is often the best way to avoid dental pain. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, and floss every day. See your dentist regularly for checkups, because problems with wisdom teeth can sometimes be spotted before you ever begin to feel any pain associated with them. This allows you to deal with the problem before you have to endure a toothache.


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Cerec dentist in Toronto

CEREC Changes Dentistry

More and more people are hearing about CEREC, or ceramic reconstruction, and asking their dentists about this exciting technology. It opens up a whole new way of getting restorations such as dental crowns in a much faster and more convenient method. Instead of having multiple appointments and a temporary crown, patients are able to obtain a perfectly fitting restoration in a single trip to the dentist.

CEREC incorporates advancements in technology in order to serve patients better. A high quality camera is used to take 3D photos that provide very specific measurements of the teeth and mouth. This negates the need for traditional impressions of the mouth. The data is then transferred to a computer with CAD software. It creates an exact design for the restoration, and then the information goes to a milling machine for the final product to be created out of ceramic. These technologies work together seamlessly to provide the patient with a perfect restoration to meet their specific requirements.

Perhaps the most appealing aspect about CEREC to patients is that the process takes only one appointment start to finish. Traditional crown methods could require up to a month for patients to receive their final fitting, making the need for a temporary crown while the permanent one is made. Temporary crowns don’t always fit well, can loosen or slip, and may make for an uncomfortable few weeks. CEREC’s advantage of completing everything in one day saves patients time, anxiety, and discomfort.

Patients also are thrilled with the perfect fit that CEREC crowns provide. The highly accurate technology allows the crown to be exactly what each patient needs for their restoration. There are fewer occurrences of loss or other problems in the future with CEREC, and the ceramic material used closely resemble your natural tooth’s appearance and feel.

More and more dentists are moving to CEREC technology because of the quality of the procedure and high degree of patient satisfaction. Saving a natural tooth is more enticing to patients when the process is as simple as it is with CEREC.

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root canal treatment

Causes of Post-Root Canal Therapy Pain

The goal of root canal therapy is to relieve pain, not cause it. The pain you experience before a root canal is the result of damage to the tissues in the tooth. Root canal therapy removes that damaged tissue, therefore relieving the discomfort you feel. If you are still experiencing tooth pain after undergoing a root canal procedure, it could be an indication of a problem with the treatment.

While mild discomfort is to be expected during the root canal healing process, if the pain continues or becomes more severe, it is likely an indication of a problem. There are several reasons for tooth pain after root canal treatment:

  • The tooth has an extra canal that was not cleaned and filled, meaning there is an extra physical root.
  • The tooth has a small, tight accessory canal that is difficult to locate on x-rays or hard to access with the necessary tools.
  • The tooth is fractured due to the damage and weakened state caused by the original decay and the access cavity that is created to begin the root canal treatment.
  • The root canal has become reinfected.
  • The small files used by your dentist to clean out the pulp of the tooth sometimes break, resulting in a failed root canal treatment.

In the days immediately following root canal therapy, it is normal to experience some tenderness of the tooth or surrounding gum. This discomfort should be easily managed with over-the-counter painkillers and should subside in a few days. If the pain does not ease in a few days or becomes more severe, contact your dental professional immediately to access your symptoms and determine if you are having root canal complications.

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Whitening Your Teeth at Home

If you have to think twice about smiling because you’re embarrassed about your yellowed teeth, then it’s time to do something about it. You might consider having your teeth professionally whitened for quick and effective results, but first you may want to try whitening your smile at home with these natural methods.

Hydrogen peroxide:
Most teeth whitening products you find on store shelves contain hydrogen peroxide. The liquid creates bubbles on your tooth enamel that helps remove stains. The higher the concentration of peroxide and the longer you leave it on, the whiter your teeth will become. However, be careful because too much contact can lead to tooth sensitivity. Some people enhance the whitening properties of hydrogen peroxide by mixing it with baking soda to form a paste to put on the teeth.

Strawberries:
Regularly using strawberries on your teeth can whiten them. Just cut them in half and rub them on your teeth, allowing the juice to penetrate. After a while of using this technique, you should notice your teeth becoming brighter.

Lemon or orange peels:
Rubbing the peels of lemons or oranges against your teeth and leaving the residue on for a few minutes can whiten your smile. Be sure to rinse your mouth afterwards. Don’t leave the peel extracts on your teeth for too long because the acidic content may eventually harm your tooth enamel.

Apple cider vinegar:
Stubborn stains like those from coffee or smoking can be especially hard to eliminate. Rubbing apple cider vinegar on your teeth is one way to combat persistent stains. Apply it for no more than ten minutes and then rinse your mouth, because you don’t want to damage your tooth enamel. It take one to two months of consistent daily use to achieve a whiter smile.

Brush immediately:
The most well-known way to maintain a white smile is to brush your teeth after every meal, as well as after drinking a dark colored beverage. This helps get rid of stains and prevent new ones from forming.


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Simple Ways to Protect Kids’ Teeth

Kids don’t always play it safe or make the best decisions when it comes to protecting their teeth. Tooth decay and mouth injuries are just a couple of things parents must worry about for their kids, whether it’s the elementary school or college years. Here are some simple ways that parents can teach their kids to protect their teeth.

Limit sports and energy drinks.
Sports and energy drinks are both heavily marketed toward today’s youth. It is true that sports drinks help replace electrolytes during exercise, but many people drink them too much or outside the exercise realm. Experts have deemed sports drinks to be unnecessary in the lunchroom or as a snack on the playground. The high acid levels in these drinks can erode tooth enamel, with energy drinks determined to cause twice as much damage. It is recommended to save sports drinks for very strenuous activities, and instead stick with water for hydration and refreshment without the negative effects.

Insist upon mouthguards.
Parents should provide mouthguards for kids in nearly any sport, even if it isn’t considered mandatory by the school or team. Mouthguards can prevent chips, fractures, or knockouts of teeth, as well as protect the soft tissues of the mouth. According to research estimates, 3 million teeth were knocked out in youth sports in 2011. Dentists suggest that athletes who don’t wear mouthguards are 60 times more likely to sustain oral injury. Inexpensive basic mouthguards or the boil-and-bite variety are available at sporting goods stores, or customized mouthguards can be purchased through your dentist.

Say no to oral piercings.
Although it applies primarily to teenagers and older, the Academy of General Dentistry advises against oral piercing for active people. Those with piercings should remove them before participating in sports, because puncture wounds can lead to infections related to increased blood flow and breathing rates during exercise. If your child is considering and oral piercing, make sure you discuss the risks and need for removal during physical activity.

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Dental Problems Treated by Oral Surgery

Your family, general, or pediatric dentist or orthodontist may refer you to an oral and maxillofacial surgeon for some dental treatments that require oral surgery. An oral surgeon is a specialist who has graduated from an accredited dental school and also completed additional education and residency related to surgical procedures needed to treat various oral diseases and conditions. An oral surgeon is trained in treating the following conditions:

  • Removal of diseased or impacted teeth
  • Placement of dental implants
  • Treatment of facial trauma involving gums, jaws, nasal cavities, cheekbones, eye sockets, and forehead
  • Evaluation of pathologic conditions such as cysts and tumors of the mouth and face or acute infections of the oral cavity, salivary glands, neck, and jaws
  • Treatment of facial pain including those caused by temporomandibular (TMJ) problems
  • Cosmetic or reconstructive surgery to correct jaw, facial bone, and facial soft tissue problems
  • Corrective jaw surgery
  • Cleft lip and cleft palate repair
  • Surgical treatment for sleep apnea

There are many different techniques that oral surgeons use to accomplish your treatment goals. The choice of techniques may vary between surgeons and should be discussed between you and your surgeon prior to the procedure.

Many oral surgery procedures can be completed in an outpatient setting. Often you are only in the office for a few hours and can return to your regular routine in a matter of days. A good oral surgeon will be able to perform these procedures with little chance of complications, and will be able to provide you with the information you need to understand the recovery process. Your oral surgeon will often collaborate with other specialists, such as an orthodontist or cosmetic dentist, to achieve your ultimate treatment goals.


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Shine For Your Special Occasion by Whitening Your Teeth

Life is full of special events that you will remember forever. When you look back at photographs from your special days, you will want to know that you looked your very best. Weddings, birthdays, reunions, graduations, anniversaries, job interviews, or that very special first date are times you will want to put your best face forward. Everything begins with your smile. Your dentist can help you prepare for these kinds of events by brightening your smile, making you look younger and more vibrant and boosting your self-confidence.
Your teeth naturally discolor with age, and this process is accelerated as you eat various foods and dark beverages. Blueberries, blackberries, and beets can all leave stains on your teeth. Dark sodas, coffee, tea, and red wine can also leave their mark with residual color on your teeth. Don’t find yourself feeling self-conscious about your discolored smile; talk to your dentist about what teeth whitening options are available to you. Not all whitening processes are good for every type of teeth. Your dentist will know what is ideal for you.

Before you whiten, it is important to have a dental exam and cleaning. The results of your whitening depend on the initial condition of your teeth. Cleaning your teeth ensures that the whitening procedure affects all of the areas of your teeth, and doesn’t leave out areas currently hidden by plaque or tartar.

Because some teeth whitening techniques require time to achieve the best results, you need to plan ahead. Begin with a consultation with your dentist several weeks prior to your special day, to allow time for the whitening process to work. Some people experience increased sensitivity to their teeth after whitening. Starting early will allow your teeth to recover from the whitening process.

A brighter smile will always help you look and feel better. It will help you make the most positive first impression. On your special day, when you smile for the camera, your confidence will show. You’ll love what you see in photos for years to come.

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What Can You Eat After Wisdom Tooth Extraction?

Chewing and swallowing can be tricky after wisdom tooth extraction. Gauze pads and a sore mouth can make eating sound unappealing, but it is vital to your healing to maintain a healthy diet. When you have a tooth extracted, a clot forms to help with healing. It’s important not to disrupt the clot, which means it is crucial to maintain a soft-food diet. In addition, spicy, acidic or hard-to-chew foods can cause additional discomfort and prevent healing.

For the first one or two weeks after your wisdom tooth extraction, plan to stick to a diet of soft, easy-to-chew foods. This guideline does not mean you are stuck eating Jello for your entire recovery period. Some suggestions for healthy foods that would be appropriate after wisdom tooth extraction include:

  • Mashed potatoes
  • Milkshakes
  • Ice cream
  • Yogurt
  • Pancakes
  • Eggs
  • Canned fruit
  • Beans
  • Pasta
  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal
  • Soup
  • Fish
  • Applesauce
  • Cottage cheese
  • Macaroni and cheese

Be careful never to use a straw during recovery, as the suction can remove the clots in your gums and create problems with healing. Some of these foods may still be too chewy, so you will need to gauge if they need to be cooked longer or further softened to make them easier to ingest. Pasta or macaroni can be overcooked to make it easier to chew, and soups can be blended to eliminate chunks of vegetables or meat. Be sure to follow the aftercare and eating recommendations of your oral surgeon, and don’t push yourself to return to normal foods until your mouth feels ready.


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Oral Surgery: Removing Impacted Wisdom Teeth

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars and the last adult teeth to erupt into the mouth. Most people have four wisdom teeth, two on the bottom and two on top. Many people do not have enough room for these molars to emerge completely, causing them to become impacted in the gum. Impacted wisdom teeth are difficult to clean, making them more susceptible to decay and disease. Other dental problems caused by impacted wisdom teeth include pain, damage to surrounding teeth, and bite alignment issues. For these reasons, your dentist may recommend having the impacted teeth removed to prevent future problems.

Surgery to extract an impacted wisdom tooth or set of wisdom teeth is usually an outpatient procedure done in your dentist or oral surgeon’s office. If the tooth or surrounding area are deemed to have an infection prior to the procedure, surgery will be delayed, and your dental professional will likely prescribe antibiotics to help heal the area.

On the day of surgery, local anesthesia will be administered to numb the area where the extracted tooth will be removed. Depending on the severity of your case, your dentist or oral surgeon may also utilize a general anesthetic.

Once the anesthesia has taken effect, an incision will be made to open up the gum and any bone blocking the tooth will be removed. Your dentist or surgeon will then separate the tissue connecting the bone to the tooth and extract the tooth. Some teeth are too large to remove in one piece, in which case your surgeon will cut the tooth into smaller pieces to make it easier to remove. Finally, the incision is closed with stitches and packed with gauze to help alleviate bleeding.

Long-term complications from impacted wisdom tooth surgery are rare. To ensure a successful recovery from this or any oral surgery, be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your dentist or oral surgeon.


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