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Types Of Sedation Used In Dentistry

Just the thought of visiting a dentist for any dental procedure already paralyzes a lot of people. For some, the dentist's chair is almost equivalent to the electric chair. It is understandable since most dental procedures may cause some sort of discomfort, especially for people with sensitive teeth and low pain tolerance. However, the downside of this is that people would rather bear the pain of a toothache instead of visiting a dentist. This is not a good idea because the more an impacted tooth is ignored, the more damaged it will get. You are just prolonging the agony because you will still end up sitting in the dentist's chair after some time.

Dentists understand these common dilemmas for most people. Thankfully, they have came up with a procedure that can lessen the anxiety a person feels, and help them relax with sedation dentistry.

Sedation is the process of making a person feel calm with the help of a relaxant drug called a sedative. If a person is anxious or scared, his muscles contract, and his glands release certain hormones that make the body hypersensitive to any sensation, noise, and pressure. Using sedative drugs, calms the whole body and the mind so the patient will not feel tense and sensitive during a dental procedure. Certain sedatives have already been developed for dental procedures, and the dentist in Laurel MD on Cherry Lane will decide on how they will administer the sedative drug.

The most common type of sedation dentistry is by oral medication. A Halcion or Valium pill shall be ingested by the patient an hour before the dental procedure. Some dentists opt to have the patient dissolve the pill under the tongue for faster effect. Once the pill takes effect, the patient will feel drowsy or groggy enough to relax but still stay awake. Higher dosages may be given by the dentist depending on the dental procedure that will be done.

Another type of sedation used in dentistry is inhalation of nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas. Nitrous oxide is mixed with oxygen, and is inhaled by the patient through a gas mask placed over his nose. This is ideal for dentists because controlling the amount of sedatives is easier compared to oral medication. Another advantage of nitrous oxide inhalation is that it wears off easily so a patient will nott feel any sort of "hangover." The downside, though, is that it is very light so the patient may still feel some sort of pain during the dental procedure.

For extreme cases of anxiety and pain management, a dentist may proceed with an intravenous (IV) sedation or, if really needed, general anaesthesia. A liquid sedative will be injected directly to the patient's vein for instantaneous sedation. Although the dentist can still control the amount of sedatives to be injected, the effect of IV sedation is much longer. A normal person may fall asleep just a few seconds after the IV push, and wake up with slight light-headedness once the sedative wears off.

Before taking any sedative drug, it is important that a person talks to his dentist about possible contraindications that may lessen the effect of the sedative such as smoking, special diets, and allergies. Generally, though, sedatives are safe and harmless, so they are really a big help for people dealing with dental trauma.

The Causes And Symptoms Of Dry Mouth Syndrome

Xerostomia, or dry mouth syndrome, is the dry feeling in the mouth due to the reduction of the amount of your saliva. Saliva is vital in cleansing the mouth, and in digesting food. It gives your mouth its much-needed moisture, and it also helps in preventing infection in the mouth by getting rid of its causes, such as fungi and bacteria.

Here are the top causes of dry mouth syndrome:

1. Side effect of certain treatments and medications. There are some medical treatments that can damage the salivary glands that produce saliva. These treatments include anything that involves radiation and chemotherapy.

This can also be due to the side effects of prescription and non-prescription medicines that are intended to treat ailments, such as allergies, acne, depression, Parkinson's disease, and colds. In addition, dry mouth can be experienced as a side effect from taking sedatives and muscle relaxants.

2. Nerve injuries. This can happen as a result of an injury to the nerves in the head and neck areas, which typically follows after undergoing surgery.

3. Dehydration. There are certain conditions that can cause excessive sweating, which can lead to dry mouth. These conditions include fever, vomiting, burns, and diarrhea.

4. Side effect of certain illnesses. You are prone to experience the condition if you are suffering from ailments that include anemia, hypertension, stroke, HIV/AIDS, cystic fibrosis, mumps, and diabetes. This also happens when you are under too much pressure and stress, or when your body is undergoing hormonal changes, such as when you are pregnant or entering the menopausal stage.

5. Vices. The condition can be aggravated by bad lifestyle habits, such as chewing tobacco and smoking. This can also be caused by breathing through your mouth too often or snoring.

6. Removal of the salivary glands through surgery.

Dry mouth syndrome can affect anyone of any age, but it is more common in adults. Everybody experiences its symptoms in varying degrees at some point.

Here are the common symptoms of the condition:

- Your saliva feels thick.

- Your throat is dry, and there is a sticky feeling in the mouth.

- The tongue feels dry due to insufficient amount of saliva in your mouth.

- Foul breath.

- Sore throat.

- Cracked lips.

- Having difficulty in swallowing and talking.

- Infection in the mouth.

What To Do

When the condition is already causing trouble in your everyday life, go to a dental office in Oxon Hill MD, and have it checked. Make sure that you tell your dentist about your health history, which include the treatments you have been through, and medications that you are taking.

When you experience several symptoms at a time, avoid any beverages that contain caffeine and alcohol. Clean your mouth and brush your teeth twice a day, because the condition can speed up the process of tooth decay.

Digital Impressions: Definitely Impressive

One major concern of people when it comes to some dental restorations is the tedious process of creating them. Complex restorations like braces, veneers, inlays and onlays, dental crowns, and dental bridges require the dentist to create a 3D model of the patient's dentition, to be used by the dental laboratory as a pattern for creating the needed restoration. This is done by using a semi-solid plaster material poured in an impression tray, and pushed in a patient's dentition.

The teeth and gums will leave an imprint in the plaster material, making a mold that represents the patient's dentition. This "negative" mold will be used to create a "positive" cast, which will be the 3D model that dental laboratories will use in creating the restoration. Aside from being cost and time inefficient, this traditional process is uncomfortable for the patient, and is prone to numerous errors.

Today, most dentists in Oxon Hill Maryland use a computer technology in creating digital impressions for their patient's teeth. An infrared camera or laser scanner captures images or a video clip of a patient's mouth. The digital file will then be sent, and interpreted in a 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) system, where the dentist can visually create a 3D model of the patient's dentition without the need for a "negative" mold. With the help of the 3D CAD system, the dentist can design the needed restoration, and check its shape, size, and fit. Once the final design is complete, the dentist can send it to the dental laboratory or, if they have a CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) system, can have the restoration prepared and created immediately.

More than just being a status symbol, using digital impressions has a lot of advantages compared to the traditional process. It is time efficient for both the dentist and the patient, since it does not require a lot of preparatory work, and it can be created in as little as 10 minutes. Unlike the mold-and-cast process which is prone to a lot errors, a digital impression creates a more accurate and precise model of a patient's mouth. Should there be an error or a mistake in a single spot of the impression, the dentist can just re-scan that area, and edit the digital file, unlike in the traditional process where a new cast needs to be created.

A digital copy of a patient's dentition also makes it easier for the dentist to check the fit of the restoration, and make necessary adjustments even before creating it. Some dentists even show it to their patients so they can see what the end result will look like. Since it is digital, it can be sent to the dental laboratory via email, and can be saved in a hard drive for future reference.

It is impressive that dentistry is making use of today's advanced technology in giving patients a more efficient, and more convenient dental procedure experience. With the help of digital impressions, achieving a perfect smile and healthy dentition definitely becomes faster, more efficient, and more precise.