Fear of the dentist is a common situation that affects many people. Luckily, you can work with your dentist to overcome your fear by using sedation dentistry. But how does sedation dentistry work? Can it help your dental anxiety? Find out with Dr. Jason Botts at Botts Dental Spa in Cordova, TN.
What is sedation dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a way for dentists to help patients cope with anxiety related to dental visits and procedures. Many events or experiences can trigger this anxiety, keeping patients from seeking out the preventive and necessary care they require for their smiles. Sedation dentistry uses medication to help the patient relax both mind and body during their dental visit. Sedation dentistry comes in various strengths depending on the patient, the complexity of their procedure, and the level of their dental anxiety.
Am I a candidate for sedation dentistry?
A good candidate for sedation dentistry is in good health and able to undergo the sedation process. In addition to helping patients relax, sedation dentistry allows several procedures to be completed in one visit. Sedation dentistry can also help those with jaw weakness or pain, people with a severe gag reflex, and other physical limitations. Dentists recommend against sedation dentistry if the patient has a heart condition, is taking certain medications, has medical allergies, or suffers from certain respiratory conditions.
Sedation dentistry has several different levels and strengths, beginning with a local anesthetic. This numbs the work area of the mouth. From there, sedation begins conservatively with mild sedation or “laughing gas.” Moderate sedation will keep the patient conscious, but they will probably not remember much of their procedure. Deep sedation will cause the patient to go fully to sleep and undergo their procedure while unconscious.
For more information on sedation dentistry, please contact Dr. Jason Botts at Botts Dental Spa in Cordova, TN. Call 901-737-2200 to schedule your appointment with your dentist today!
Although regular brushing will help keep your teeth healthy, for many people brushing alone doesn't give them the dazzling smile they are hoping for. If your teeth are stained or discolored, professional whitening services can help. Dr. Jason Botts of Botts Dental Spa offers teeth whitening in Cordova, TN.
Who Needs Whitening?
The color of teeth can vary from one person to the next. Habits such as smoking or consuming certain foods and drinks like coffee can stain your teeth. Teeth whitening in Cordova, TN, is available for individuals who would like to improve the color and overall appearance of their teeth.
How Is Whitening Done?
In-office teeth whitening is done using a specialized peroxide formula. Your dentist will make sure your gums are protected before applying the whitening gel. It is then activated with a special light and left on your teeth for about an hour. Your teeth can be 3-8 shades whiter with just one treatment and the results are long-lasting with the proper dental hygiene.
Is Whitening Safe?
Whitening is safe for most patients. The dentist will decide if you are a good candidate for this procedure because there are some types of discoloration that don't respond to whitening like discoloration caused by certain medications. There are other treatment options for these kinds of stains.
Care For Your Teeth
Once you have completed your whitening procedure, you will want to care for your teeth going forward. You will want to make sure that you kick bad habits which are contributing to your teeth staining. You should also brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day.
If you would like to learn more about brightening your smile, Dr. Jason Botts of Botts Dental Spa offers teeth whitening in Cordova, TN. Call (901) 737-2200 to set up an appointment today.
As parents, we want to do everything possible to help our kids stay healthy—and that includes their teeth. And just like other aspects of their health, it's better not to go at dental care alone. That's why we recommend beginning your child's regular dental visits no later than their first birthday.
You may think that's a bit premature, given the few teeth a child may have when they're a year old. But there are solid reasons why early childhood dental visits are a smart move, especially if you're playing the long game for their future dental health and development.
Minimizes damaging tooth decay. If a child loses just one primary tooth to decay, it could have an adverse, cascading effect on their developing bite. Dental visits begun sooner rather than later are more likely to catch and treat tooth decay, as well as provide other preventive measures that can ensure primary teeth aren't lost prematurely.
Provides you a partner for your child's dental care. A child's dental development and health depend on what you do in the home—daily oral hygiene, monitoring for signs of disease and avoiding habits that promote tooth decay. Regular dental visits help support the home front by providing you helpful insight and advice for supporting your child's dental health.
Identifies bite problems early. Although they usually develop gradually, there are often early signs of an emerging bite problem. Pediatric dentists especially are trained to notice early signs of an abnormal bite and refer you to an orthodontist for interventional treatment.
Reduces your child's dental visit anxiety. The unfamiliarity and clinical nature of a dental office can make a child susceptible to anxiety that could follow them into adulthood. Early childhood dental visits help normalize the dentist's office for your child, reduce anxiety and make it more likely they'll continue seeing the dentist later in life.
Life can be hectic with an infant in the home. But getting into the routine of regular dental visits at an early age is a worthwhile investment in healthier teeth and gums—now and in the future.
If you would like more information on good dental care practices for your child, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Age One Dental Visit.”
It seems with each new election cycle another U.S. state legalizes marijuana use. It remains a flashpoint issue that intersects politics, law and morality, but there's another aspect that should also be considered—the health ramifications of using marijuana.
From an oral health perspective, it doesn't look good. According to one study published in the Journal of Periodontology a few years ago, there may be a troubling connection between marijuana use and periodontal (gum) disease.
Gum disease is a common bacterial infection triggered by dental plaque, a thin biofilm on tooth surfaces. As the infection advances, the gum tissues become more inflamed and lose their attachment to teeth. This often results in widening gaps or "pockets" between the teeth and gums filled with infection. The deeper a periodontal pocket, the greater the concern for a tooth's health and survivability.
According to the study, researchers with Columbia University's College of Dental Medicine reviewed data collected from nearly 2,000 adults, a quarter of which used marijuana at least once a month. They found the marijuana users had about 30 individual pocket sites on average around their teeth with a depth of at least 4 millimeters. Non-users, by contrast, only averaged about 22 sites.
The users also had higher incidences of even deeper pockets in contrast to non-users. The former group averaged nearly 25 sites greater than 6 millimeters in depth; non-users, just over 19. Across the data, marijuana users appeared to fare worse with the effects of gum disease than those who didn't use.
As concerning as these findings appear, we can't say that marijuana use singlehandedly causes gum disease. The condition has several contributing risk factors: diet, genetics, and, most important of all, how well a person manages daily plaque removal, the main driver for gum disease, through brushing and flossing.
Still, the data so far seems to indicate using marijuana can make gum disease worse. Further studies will be needed to fully test this hypothesis. In the meantime, anyone using marijuana should consider the possible consequences to their oral health.
In the classic holiday film, It's a Wonderful Life, George Bailey sees what life would be like if he'd never been born. In a variation on the theme, imagine your life if your teeth had never formed.
That's actually a reality for some—they're born without teeth, albeit usually only one or two. But even then, they're often more susceptible to problems with their bite, speech development and nutrition.
And if their missing teeth affects their appearance, their self-image could also take a hit. In particular, the maxillary lateral incisors on either side of the central incisors (those in the very front) can create an odd smile if missing.
Fortunately, we can correct the problem of missing lateral incisors with three possible solutions. The first is canine substitution, involving the pair of pointed teeth next in line to the missing incisors. In effect, we use orthodontic appliances like braces to move them toward the frontmost teeth and close the missing teeth gap.
It's a minimally invasive way to improve smile appearance. But because of their size and sharp edges, it's often necessary to alter the canines, perhaps even crown them. Some people may also need gum surgery to "blend" the gums with the repositioned teeth.
A second method is a fixed bridge, a series of fused crowns. Those in the middle replace the missing teeth, while those on the ends are bonded to the natural teeth on either side of the gap to support the bridge.
Bridges can function well for many years, but it does require permanently altering the supporting teeth for crowning. An alternative Maryland or bonded bridge doesn't require this alteration, but it's also less durable than a traditional bridge.
Finally, we could replace the missing teeth with dental implants, a titanium post imbedded into the jawbone with an attached life-like crown. An implant tooth can last for decades, and don't require alterations to other teeth. However, they're not suitable for younger patients who are still undergoing jaw development—a temporary restoration may thus be in order until the jaw matures.
Being born without certain teeth is something you can't do anything about. But you can change how it affects your appearance and life with one of these options for a new smile.
If you would like more information on correcting a smile with missing teeth, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation. You can also learn more about this topic by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “When Permanent Teeth Don't Grow.”
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