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Sedation Dentistry Explained

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 24, 2017 @ 13:04 PM

 

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I often ask new patients who come to me for sedation dentistry what it is that they are most anxious about. Many times it is simply a fear of being judged.  “I haven’t been to a dentist for 20 years and I’m afraid you’re going to lecture me!”  We are non-judgemental and we cater to cowards! If going to the dentist makes you uneasy, nervous or stressed out you are not alone. We are grateful that we can provide sedation services for those who would otherwise not go to the dentist. Fear is the problem. Sedation dentistry is often the solution.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry uses IV medicine to help patients relax and rest comfortably while having dental work completed. This is called conscious sedation anesthesia. It is safely administered in our office by a trained, medical anesthesiologist. You are carefully monitored throughout the procedure. This kind of care should not be confused with just taking a pill or using laughing gas given by a regular dentist.  During sedation patients remain conscious but often are so relaxed that they feel like they slept through the entire appointment. Time seems to go by very quickly.  The treatment may take several hours while many patients feels like only a few minutes went by. Sedation anesthesia often allows dentists to complete complex procedures such as deep cleanings, fillings and crowns in one visit versus having a patient return multiple times. This can save you time, money and discomfort.   

Sedation Dentistry - Overcome Dental Phobias

If you or a loved one is reluctant to go to the dentist because of a fear or dental phobia, consider IV conscious sedation dentistry. From regular check-ups to complete reconstructions, we can help you overcome your fears and walk away victorious, with a healthy smile as your prize.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland School of Dentistry.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com   334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

A Gettysburg Dentist discusses a Brief History of Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Apr 13, 2015 @ 11:04 AM

 Gettysburg Dentist Peter J. Samuels, DDS

 

 

Did you know dentistry is one of the oldest professions in
the medical field?  It dates back to
ancient times and became a more defined profession in the 1700s. The
"Father of Modern Dentistry" is Pierre Fauchard who published a book
titled The Surgeon Dentist, a Treatise on Teeth, in 1723. This influential text
defined a complete system for taking care of and treating teeth.

Evidence suggests that the Chinese practiced restorative
dentistry in 200B.C. Other Asian countries also included oral medicine as part
of their regular medical practice. Arabic writings from the same time period
indicate that they cleaned and scaled teeth. The first dental college, the
Baltimore College of Dental Surgery, opened in the United States in 1840, and
politicians in Alabama enacted the first dental practice act in 1841. Other
significant events were the  American
Dental Association forming  in 1859 and
Harvard establishing the first university dental school in 1867.

The United States became the leading center for dental
developments in  the 19th century.  Medical anesthesia was developed by dentists
and became widely used by physicians during the Civil War.     Advances in the field included the discovery
of anesthetic properties of nitrous oxide and ether as well as the development,
by dentists, of anesthesia  equipment .  Modern methods of sedation anesthesia for in office dental treatment were developed by dentists. 
An American dentist, James Beall Morrison, introduced the foot-treadle drill in
1871l. It gave dentists the ability to remove decay and restore teeth with
various filling materials.

As a practicing Gettysburg dentist of over thirty years,
it’s sometimes interesting to hear stories from some of my older patients.  In the early 1980’s, for example, I remember
hearing stories from some of my older Gettysburg patients, who at that time were in their
80’s, of their childhood dentists who used foot powered drills!  They told me that their local dentist seldom used
anesthetics and mostly just pulled teeth. 
There were no antibiotics and an abscessed tooth could easily become
life threatening.

 

How lucky we are to live in an age of comfortable,
preventive oriented, dental care!   With
modern local anesthetics, sedation anesthesia, and modern, tooth colored
filling materials, almost anyone can have a beautiful smile.

 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a
clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.

GettysburgFamilyDentist.com               334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Are you a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 @ 12:04 PM

 

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Perhaps you've heard of of sedation for dental treatment. Some refer to it as sleep dentistry.  If so, you might be wondering whether you are a good candidate.

Who uses sedation dentistry? 

Do you:

  • Feel very anxious about going to the dentist?
  • Need extra help getting numb in order to not feel pain? 
  • Have a strong gag reflex?
  • Develop jaw strain during dental procedures?

If you experience one or more of these conditions, a sedation dentist can help. As a first step, contact a dentist who provides sedation dentistry and arrange to come in for a consult. The dentist can do a thorough dental exam, review your treatment options and explain how sedation for dental treatment works.  In general, IV medications are used to gradually remove your anxiety. Time will seem to go by very quickly.  While you will be sedated and conscious, many people feel as though they slept through the entire procedure.  Often, procedures such as fillings and crowns that might take many office visits without sedation, can be accomplished in one relaxing visit.

Before you schedule a sedation dentistry appointment, you should arrange a ride. You are not able to drive yourself home after the procedure, since the sedatives need time to wear off. 

Who would not be a good candidate for sedation dentistry?

There are a few health conditions that indicate that you should not receive sedation. If you are allergic to sedatives or have developed medication resistance, you might not be able to receive this treatment. If you are medically compromised, your dentist might not recommend sedation in the office. Finally, sedation dentistry is not recommended during pregnancy. 

If this has piqued your interest, we recommend that you contact a dental office that provides sedation to learn about your options.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.  He provides safe sedation dentistry in his office using a board certified, medical anesthesiologist.

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Sedation Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Sep 16, 2014 @ 14:09 PM

 

Being afraid of going to the dentist is a common problem, but your overall health can also suffer when you ignore dental care. If you have dental phobia, it’s important to understand why.   

Common Causes of Dental Phobia

  • One of the most common fears is of pain.  Often this fear is not based on reality but rather on second hand horror stories passed down from other people. Parents, for example, can unwittingly pass their own unfounded anxieties on to their children.
  • The fear of dental injections or even the fear that the anesthetic will not work is common. This is particularly true of people suffering from needle phobia.   
  • Some people are afraid of side effects from anesthesia. For example, they’re fearful of feeling dizzy, faint or nauseated.
  • A fear of feeling helpless and out of control is very common. Often this fear overlaps with claustrophobia.

Communicate Your Fears with Your Dentist

Share your fears with your dentist. This is the best way to overcome dental phobia. In other words, tell your dental hygienist and dentist what scares you before you’re treated.

Be transparent about any negative past experiences. Fortunately, most dental procedures have vastly improved over the past few decades and aren't as traumatizing as they were years ago. What's more, ask your dentist to explain what’s involved in a procedure.  Often, simply communicating that when you raise your hand the dentist will immediately stop, can turn a scary procedure into and easy one!

 

Sedation Dentistry

Sedation dentistry is an extremely effective treatment of dental phobia

Although it’s often called “sleep dentistry,” patients aren't usually asleep, but are comfortably sedated with various medications. There are several ways the sedation medications can be administered:

  • Oral sedation involves taking an oral medication, such as valium, before a dental procedure.  This can reduce anxiety and take the edge off the procedure.   
  • IV sedation works quickly, allowing your anesthesia trained dentist or anesthesiologist to make constant adjustments in sedation levels. Time will go by very quickly and you will often have little memory of the procedure.  Often, with IV sedation, years of necessary dental treatment can be caught up in one comfortable appointment. 
  • General and deep sedation may also be used. This kind of sedation is usually reserved for the hospital setting or an oral surgeon’s office. Wisdom teeth, for instance, are often removed under deep sedation by an oral surgeon. 

The bottom line is to be proactive about your dental fears. Simply ask your dentist what can be done to make a procedure more comfortable. When I understand what makes my patients fearful, I can better determine how to lower their anxiety, putting them more at ease. 

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a local Gettysburg dentist and a clinical instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School.

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, gettysburg sleep dentist, sleep dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Sleep Dentistry in Gettysburg

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Mar 12, 2014 @ 16:03 PM

Gettysburg sedation dentist

 

According to Peter Milgrom, DDS, director of the Dental Fears Research Clinic at the University of Washington in Seattle, about 20% of Americans experience fear of dentistry to the extent that they avoid dental visits altogether. Of this group, between 5% and 8% are considered to have a severe dental phobia. The difference is this: a fear is an emotional response to a perceived threat that causes mild to moderate anxiety. A phobia is a condition in which the fear is so strong it interferes with a person’s quality of life or their ability to function.

For the purposes of this article, however, the word “phobia” is used to denote whatever level of anxiety prevents a person from receiving regular dental care.

Most people who have a fear of dentistry have had a frightening or painful dental experience in the past, and this is especially common among persons over forty who received dental treatment when the technologies used were not as advanced as those in use today.

So what are the options for treatment of dental phobia?

The possibilities vary depending on the extent of the phobia. Norman Corah's Dental Questionnaire is an assessment tool used to measure dental fear. The highest possible score on the questionnaire is 20; a score of 15 or higher indicates the type of severe anxiety that is termed dental phobia, while a score of 13-14 denotes a very high level of anxiety.

A score higher than 9 on the 20 point assessment is said to signify moderate anxiety; a level which can be treated by managing specific stressors. For example, some people are afraid of the sound and/or vibration of the drill, while others are intensely troubled by the sound of scraping during teeth cleaning. Others’ anxiety is triggered by the antiseptic smells in the dentist’s office.

These types of stressors can be treated with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), a technique in which negative patterns of thought are challenged in order to alter unwanted behavior patterns. Learning and practicing relaxation techniques can also be effective. Sometimes a dentist will prescribe anti-anxiety medications for you to take just prior to your appointment (in this case you will not be able to drive yourself to the appointment).

For more severe anxiety, or for people who lack the time and/or money to pursue a therapeutic intervention, sedation dentistry is the treatment of choice. The process used for sedation dentistry is the same one used for a colonoscopy, and is also known as conscious sedation. In this procedure medications are administered by a medical anesthesiologist and leave you semi-conscious: you will be able to answer questions and respond to conversation, but you will be very relaxed and time will seem to go by very fast.  Many people say it felt like they were in the chair for just five minutes and they were done!

Sedation dentistry is an affordable, safe and effective procedure which can be your path to healthy teeth and gums, along with a beautiful smile.  If you’ve been putting off getting your teeth fixed and your mouth healthy, give us a call!

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, gettysburg sleep dentist, sleep dentist Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Here are a few more Interesting Tidbits about Dental History!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Dec 27, 2013 @ 11:12 AM

 

Gettysburg Dentist history facts

 

There is evidence of dentistry being practiced as far back as 7000 BC; at that time, bow drills were used in the treatment of tooth decay. In ancient Greece tooth extraction was a common procedure used to treat a variety of different illnesses, and the professionals who treated dental problems were not doctors but barbers. It wasn’t until the years between 1650 and 1800 when modern dentistry got its start.

The history of dentistry is filled with odd and sometimes humorous happenings. Here are some of the most interesting facts about dentistry:

Contrary to popular belief, President George Washington’s false teeth were not constructed of wood; his teeth were actually made from a combination of elephant tusks, human, cow and walrus teeth and gold.

Experts recommend that you store your toothbrush at least six feet away from your toilet. Why? When you flush, fecal particles travel through the air and can land on a tooth brush up to six feet away. Using a toothbrush cap is not the best solution to this problem: the moist environment maintained by a toothbrush cover allows more bacteria to grow and multiply.

A snail’s mouth is the size of the head of a pin and contains about 25,000 teeth.

Tooth decay is the second most prevalent illness in the United States behind the common cold.

Each person’s teeth are as unique as their fingerprints; even identical twins have a different dental “fingerprint”. Paul Revere is the first person known to have used dental forensics to identify a body.

In 2012, the average amount left by the tooth fairy was $2 per tooth.

The average man in the United States smiles 8 times a day; the average woman smiles 62 times per day.

Giraffes only have bottom teeth. 

These are just a few of the many interesting facts about dentistry. Here’s one final fact that produced several humorous headlines in 1994: A prisoner in Charleston, West Virginia escaped by braiding dental floss into a rope about the thickness of a telephone cord. He then used the rope to scale an 18 foot wall in the recreation yard and made his escape.

 

Submitted by Peter Samuels, DDS

Topics: Dental history, Cosmetic Dentistry, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Considering a Sedation Dentist?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sun, Nov 10, 2013 @ 15:11 PM

 



Sedation dentist in Gettysburg

 

If you are like many Americans, just the word "dentist" can send shivers down your spine. New innovation and technology has made dentistry less invasive and easier to handle than ever before. Choosing a sedation dentist can help you face your fears and finally have that dental work you have been putting off for so long.

Sedation dentistry is no longer reserved for surgeries or complicated procedures. Sedation dentists offer sedation anesthesia for cleanings, fillings, implants, crowns and almost any dental procedure. When deciding which sedation dentist will be best for you, it is important to evaluate the experience and training of the dentist.  Our office uses the services of a medical anesthesiologist.  The level of sedation he can provide is much greater than with just a pill taken before the appointment  

You may be wondering if you can afford sedation dentistry. To be truthful, the cost varies per procedure, per patient. But one of the most attractive benefits of sedation dentistry is that more work can be done in less time. This means more than one procedure can be performed during a single visit. Fewer trips to the dentist can save you money in the long run.  Often years of work can be caught up in one, comfortable visit.  Many patients feel like they were in the chair for just five minutes!  

Anxiety about going to the dentist does not have to be the norm. Choosing the right dentist can work wonders for your appearance and health. When deciding which sedation dentist is right for you, narrow your search by stopping by the dentists office or contacting them via the internet. In most cases, the dentist's staff will be happy to explain their sedation procedures, services they offer, and potential cost.

For more information on sedation dentistry and how it can benefit you, contact us at Samuel's Dental Arts, P.C. Our family run and operated dental office has proudly serves
the residents of Gettysburg, PA and the surrounding areas using cutting-edge technology coupled with the most gentle approach. 


Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

Are You Are a Good Candidate for Dental Implants?

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Oct 22, 2013 @ 11:10 AM

 


 

 

dental implantsDid you know that even the ancient Egyptians used dental implants? The University of Rochester Medical Center reveals that anthropologists have discovered mummies with implants that date back thousands of years. Of course, since then the technology has vastly improved.

In simplest terms, modern dental implants are made of surgical-grade titanium posts that a dentist places in bone under your gum tissue. This process replaces the roots of previously extracted teeth and allows the material to fuse to the bone. (Osseointegrate) Then, an artificial tooth made of ceramic that mimics the size and color of your existing teeth is fastened to the implant. The result is a permanently mounted artificial tooth that is next to impossible to detect with the naked eye.

You are a good candidate for dental implants if:

  1. You are looking for a lifetime solution to spaces left by missing teeth. If you are in good health and committed to caring for your oral health, there is a good chance that the implants last for your entire life.
  2. You take oral hygiene seriously. Since periodontal disease can develop at the implant site as easily as you may find it around your natural teeth, it is crucial to be vigilant about oral hygiene. If you are willing to get up close and personal with your brush, floss and dental water jet, the implants can be the right solution. If you are further willing to visit your hygienist every three months or so, you are definitely a good candidate.
  3. You want to get out and mingle! It is sometimes difficult to speak clearly when certain teeth are missing. At other times, it can be hard to mount dentures or bridges in a mouth where several teeth are unable to support them. Finally, there is occasionally a marked difficulty in enjoying certain nutritious foods. This may leave you feeling shy and even cause you to withdraw from social activities. When you are ready to get out and mingle but feel that your missing teeth are keeping you from enjoying all that life has to offer, implants may be the answer.

There used to be a time when diabetes sufferers were discouraged from considering implants. This is no longer the case. If you have your diabetes under control, you can be a good candidate for the procedure. Samuels Dental Arts P.C. knows that you probably have a lot of questions about dental implants. Contact us today for more information. Our friendly staff members are looking forward to answering all of your questions.

Topics: Gettysburg implant dentist, implant dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gettysburg dentist

Dental Sleep Appliance Treatment

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Sep 30, 2013 @ 22:09 PM

 

Dental Sleep Appliance

 

 

What is it Oral Appliance Therapy?

Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), or snore appliance, is a non-surgical method of controlling snoring or obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) by use of dental appliance. The device, similar to an orthodontic retainer or a mouth-guard used by athletes, is worn in the mouth while sleeping to prevent the soft tissues of the throat from collapsing and obstructing the airway.

Types of OAT

  1. Mandibular Advancement Appliances (MMA): This option advances the jaw forward and helps to open the airway space.
  2. Tongue-Retaining Devices (TRD): This method focuses specifically on the tongue. By simply moving the tongue forward, the airway is opened and easier breathing occurs.
  3. Palatal Lifting Appliances (PLA): By lifting the soft palate, the airway space is opened up, allowing a freer air flow, and reducing OSA and snoring.

Do you need Oral Appliance Therapy?

OAT is the first choice of patients who experience heavy snoring or mild sleep apnea according to the The American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM). It is also a viable and effective solution for people who experience moderate or severe sleep apnea who are not a good candidate for a CPAP (continuous positive air pressure) machine. Further, OAT can be used in conjunction with CPAP when there are issues with nasal CPAP alone. This done by lowering the pressure, thus making it more tolerable for the patient.

Oral appliances offer a safe, highly-effective and non-invasive treatment option for the millions of Americans suffering from OSA and severe, chronic snoring. If you think you suffer from a sleep-related sleeping disorder, you should seek the help of a qualified sleep medical professional.

Drs. Samuels and Dr. Berger have helped many PA residents who sufferer from sleep-related problems like snoring and sleep apnea. If you have any questions or concerns about a condition that you may have, contact us by calling 717.778.4268, or by email [email protected] to schedule some time for an evaluation.


Topics: snore appliance, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea, dental snore appliance, Gettysburg sedation dentist

Gettysburg Cosmetic Dentist discusses options for Cosmetic Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Sat, Sep 14, 2013 @ 15:09 PM

Cosmetic dentistry in Gettysburg

 

You may be under the impression that all cosmetic dentistry involves
time-consuming, expensive, and painful procedures just so your teeth can look
good. In fact, several options are available at different price and convenience
levels.

Teeth whitening treats colored or stained teeth so they
become whiter. This is the least intrusive option and can be done at home with
kits you can buy over the counter. In-office dental whitening and professional, custom, take home whitening using custom, fabricated teeth bleaching trays is far more
effective because it can use stronger agents while protecting sensitive areas of
the mouth, such as the gums.

Fillings are arguably the most familiar of the cosmetic
methods because many individuals have had cavities filled as a protective measure
when they were still schoolchildren. Fillings can also repair rough spots and
chips with resins or porcelain materials that can be colored to look like
natural teeth. They bond directly to the enamel and dentin, adding further
protection.  Modern, cosmetically oriented dentists have the ability to artistically bond composite fillings to front or back teeth making the fillings almost invisible.

Crowns cover broken, cracked or decayed teeth to prevent further
damage in the future which can involve extensive procedures, time,
and expense. In the past, such crowns were made out of gold for better
durability at the expense of aesthetics. Modern crowns can often be pure ceramic.
 They provide strength and durability, and are indistinguishable from
natural teeth even when used in the front of the mouth. 

Veneers are a thin layer of porcelain artistically designed and custom made for your individual teeth.  They can be bonded to the outside surface of front teeth to produce the gorgeous, white smile you have always wanted.

Rather than trying to decide on your own which of these options is preferable
for your appearance, why not contact us for an appointment? We can thoroughly
diagnose your problem and recommend options that are not only effective but also
fit your time and budget constraints.  As unrestricted dental providers, Dr. Samuels and Dr. Berger are able to provide the right dental solution using the most cosmetic dental materials available without worrying about the restrictions of your dental insurance companies.

Topics: Cosmetic Dentistry, dentist, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gettysburg dentist

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