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The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Aug 22, 2013 @ 15:08 PM

sedation dentistry resized 600

 

 

 

Sedation care is a widely used and
popular way for millions of people who have a fear of the dentist to receive the
care that they need. It can be a viable and easy option for those who may have a
fear of the dentist, perhaps from a traumatic event they experienced as a child
or adult, or for those who have a special need, or simply for those who need to save
time. No matter the reason, skipping regular checkups, cleanings and, for some,
forgoing important restorative procedures that can jeopardize  health and is
no reason to avoid the dentist. Especially when there is an option. 

Modern dentistry offers a variety of new tools that can make your trip to the
dentist tolerable and comfortable when using sedation dentistry. 

What are the special benefits?

  • Relaxation
  • Increased comfort
  • Control of movement
  • Patient/dentist co-operation
  • Controlling gag reflex
  • Less memory of treatment
  • Fewer appointments needed (time saving)

Who can benefit?

  • Patients with a physical or mental challenge like autism or other special
    needs (Aspberger's Syndrome, Fragile X Syndrome, Alzheimer's, etc.) 
  • Patients with cardiac or diabetic needs. While sedated, we monitor heart
    rate and EKG, to help ensure our patients safety.
  • Patients who experience seizures, epilepsy, and Parkinson's can benefit from
    a more relaxed and pleasant experience as well. 
  • People with fear, anxieties and phobias related to trauma, stress or dental procedures.
      
  • People who have a low pain tolerance. Because pain is subjective, sleep
    dentistry can often eliminate the issue that may arise from those who have this experience, virtually removing the pain altogether.  

 

  • Those with active gag reflexes. Some people will gag even at the smallest
    item being placed in their mouth, like an x-ray film. Using anesthesia
    techniques, this problem can be eliminated.

 

  • Those in need of extensive treatment. Sedation dentistry is perfect for
    those who may need a more sophisticated treatment (root canals, implant dentistry, full-mouth rehabilitation).  

If you or a loved one falls in any of the catagories above, it may be time to
consider sedation dentistry. Drs. Samuels and Berger have worked with patients
who have varied histories and backgrounds from the PA area, and would love to
answer any question you may have about sleep dentistry and dental anesthesia
services. Contact us by calling 717.778.4268, or by emailing us at  [email protected]

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Dentist in Gettysburg, Gettysburg sedation dentist

A day in the life of a Gettysburg Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 4, 2013 @ 16:02 PM

Gettysburg family and sedation dentist, Peter J. Samuels, DDS 

 

 

What is it like to be a dentist in Gettysburg?  What is the typical day of a Gettysburg dentist?  Well, here's what this family dentist did today.

The day began with Maia.  Maia’s blue eyes welled with tears.  The dental chair dwarfed her tiny, seven year old body.  She clung to my assistant’s hand as she looked over all the strange “tooth ticklers” and squirmed nervously.  “My big brother said it’s gonna hurt real bad, but my mommy said it wouldn’t be worse that a bee sting.” 

“Oh my”, I thought.  The family had already set the stage for a bad experience. This was going to take all my children’s dentist chairside skills!  Well, we turned it all around and Maia had a great experience.  Her first cavity was bonded with white, composite filling and she bragged to her mom that she never felt anything at all!  We sealed the permanent molars and spent some time showing Maia how to brush and even floss so she will, hopefully, never have another cavity in her life.

Mrs. Wolfe was already in the next room.  A new patient, she had called first thing this morning in pain, hoping we could work her in.  Her jaw was swollen to the size of a golf ball on the lower right and she looked exhausted from lack of sleep.  A quick, digital x-ray showed the culprit.  An abscessed, lower right molar.  I hate to blog gross, but a quick, small opening in the top of her dead tooth allowed a back pressure of pus to drain and almost instant pain relief followed.  Mrs. Wolfe was a happy camper and so was I.  The ability to immediately relieve pain is one of the most rewarding aspects of life as a Gettysburg dentist.  Time for a course of antibiotics and a trip back in a week or so to go over some long term options.

Beep…beep..beep… the heart monitor called out its rhythm as our anesthesiologist provided his expertise in our dental sedation room.  Sandra was meticulous about her health, but when it came to her teeth,  her bad, childhood, dental  experiences had left their mark.  She hadn’t been to a dentist for 20 years before seeking us out for sedation dentistry.  I remember when she first came in.  A grown woman of 45, she had cried before we even examined her mouth.  She tried to rationalize her fear, but she simply could not.  Sandra lay quietly sedated in la la land as my team and I worked for three hours repairing  years of dental neglect.  She smiled at the end with pretty, new front teeth and whispered, “That felt like I was in the chair for five minutes!”

Lunch, for me, is more of a power nap time that an eat time.  A time to recharge.  I looked over the afternoon’s schedule.  At two I would make a porcelain cap for Carmen’s upper lateral incisor.  Carmen was 62.  She’d broken her tooth in a bicycle accident when she was 11 and it had been down hill since.  After years of patching it had finally given up the ghost and broken off at the gum-line.  Luckily, dental technology had improved since Carmen’s accident.  We had replaced her tooth with a titanium dental implant anchored in the jaw several months ago and today we would make the final, beautiful, all porcelain crown that goes on top.  From three feet away,  no one would be able to tell it wasn’t her real tooth.

Three o’clock , a Cerec , in office, computer  cad cam created porcelain crown and bonded, composite fillings.  Four o’clock, two orthodontic patient checks.  One had Fast Braces on, and it was always fun to see how much her teeth had moved since the last visit.  The other, preferring no visible wires,  was wearling Invisalign aligners.

There is more.  In between  procedures I’ll be checking  the progress of our periodontal therapy patients as they work with the hygiene department.  Periodontal disease is one of the most widespread infectious diseases and the most common reason for tooth loss.  It has been implicated in heart disease, diabetes, and even dementia.  Treating and controlling gum disease is one of the most important jobs of the modern, family dentist and it is important healthcare.

The day in the life of a Gettysburg dentist is sometimes hectic, sometimes stressful, often rewarding, but never boring!  I honestly look forward to tomorrow.

Topics: gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg sedation dentist, Gum Disease, Gettysburg dentist

Gettysburg Sedation Dentist discusses Robot receives FDA Clearance

Posted by Peter Samuels on Fri, Jan 25, 2013 @ 22:01 PM

Gettysburg Dentist Cerec Sedation Dentist Gettysburg

 

 RP-VITA Remote Presence Robot receives FDA Clearance

The future is here as the FDA has approved a new, patient friendly robot that wonders into patient hospital rooms and helps to remotely diagnosis problems with the help of a physician specialist who may be thousands of miles away!  The joint venture between iRobot, the inventor of the home robot vacuum cleaner called Roombas,  and InTouch Health, this five foot tall avatar may well be the one to greet you as you awaken after your next surgical procedure.  While, perhaps, not as warm and fuzzy as Dr. Kildare, these medical robots may well improve patient outcomes and reduce health care costs in line with the aims of the Affordable Care Act. 

So why is your local, Gettysburg Dentist talking about medical robots?

Because the same medical technology revolution is occurring in the modern dental practice! One of the most common dental procedures is the placement of a porcelain crown.  Most of us who grew up in the 60s or 70s have a mouthful of amalgam (silver-mercury) fillings.  Over the years these metal fillings expand and contract, develop microscopic openings at the margins, and cause teeth to crack and break.  Generally, a tooth that is more filling than tooth needs a crown or onlay to hold it together, to restore natural function and, hopefully, preserve it for a lifetime of chewing and smiling.  Traditionally, the dentist uses local, dental anesthesia to numb the tooth, remove the decay, build the tooth back together and then prepare it for the crown covering.  A very accurate mold is made of the prepared tooth and this mold, or impression, is sent to a laboratory.  Once at the lab, a team involving a dental lab technician and a porcelain artist take over to custom fabricate the dental crown by hand.  The final result must be precision crafted to fit perfectly with no gaps and to blend in perfectly with the natural teeth.  The patient leaves the dental office with a temporary, dental cap and returns in about three weeks to have the cap removed and the new porcelain crown bonded to the tooth. There are lots of steps where errors can occur, especially if the dentist is unable, or unwilling to us a high quality dental lab,  Unfortunately, more and more dentists are having dental work made in China and other cheap, poorly regulated, off shore factories.  But that is for another story! 

OK.  Back to the Dental Robot Story.

Imagine this.  The dentist prepares your tooth as before. Instead of the patient having to leave the office with a temporary dental cap, a robot technician is wheeled into the room!  Called a Cerec machine this hi tech, dental office technology uses a special infrared wand to digitize the tooth.  The Cerec trained dentist then designs the dental crown on a computer screen and wirelessly emails the design to a cad-cam, dental robot located in another room.  In about 15 minutes of fascinating buzzing and whirring a perfectly shaped and colored dental crown or onlay is almost magically produced and can be bonded to the tooth in one visit. 

Sedation Dentistry

Robotic type Cerec dentistry can be ideal for use in sedation or sleep dentistry.  Fearful dental patients don’t have to come back for multiple visits.  The teeth can often be prepared for Cerec type crowns and finished in one visit while the patient is sedated by the dentist anesthesiologist.  No dreading the second visit to put the crowns on!

Invisalign

Invisalign orthodontics is yet another example of robotic type, dental treatment available from your hi tech Gettysburg Invisalign dentist.  Your crooked teeth are digitally recreated and then digitally straightened, allowing a series of tooth straightening dental aligners to be robotically fabricated.  Incredible technology!

While the robot dentist is not yet ready to roll into the room ask you to open wide, your hi technology Gettysburg dental office is already here and the future is coming fast!

Topics: Cerec dentist, gettysburg sleep dentist, Gettysburg Cerec Dentist

Habits Your Dentist would like you to Change!

Posted by Peter Samuels on Tue, Jan 22, 2013 @ 13:01 PM

HomeTooth grinding dental habits

 

 

 

Tooth-related habits can be conscious (brushing and flossing) or unconscious—chewing on pencils, for example. Dental habits become bad when teeth are expected to do things they are not cut out for—opening bottles, chewing off the little plastic tags on new clothing, trimming nails, and so on. And bad dental habits can be downright dangerous. To name a few:

 

Swiss Army Mouth

Mistaking your teeth for a sort of all-purpose bottle-cap-removal-unit-plus-toolbox is a great way of developing unnecessary chips, fractures, and dislocations.

If this is you, resist the urge (and reward yourself with a Swiss Army knife—far less expensive than reconstructing a tooth).

 

The Ice Crusher

Human teeth and the HMS Titanic have at least one thing in common: neither was designed for impacting large quantities of ice. Besides potentially fracturing tooth enamel, chewing ice can irritate the pulp chamber where the nerve is and reduce the tooth’s resistance to stress. Leave your ice in the drink where it belongs. Or treat yourself to a Snow-Cone.

 

The Midnight Grinder

Professionally, we call it bruxism—tooth grinding that often goes on while a person sleeps. It is a common habit and one that is hard to control if it happens while asleep.

A dental exam can tell us if you’re a bruxer.  Grinders have found relief in comfortable, custom-fitted nightguards.

But just as important is learning to control the emotional stress—actual or created—that may be bringing it on. Advice for bruxers--try rest, exercise, meditation or whatever else might help you learn how to better handle the daytime tensions that express themselves in nighttime grinding.

 

Mandibular Manicurists

Teeth were no more meant to trim fingernails than they were to open bottles. This is an especially important habit to avoid if you have fragile, reconstructed, or cosmetically enhanced teeth. Carry a nail file—or sugarless gum, if the habit originates from stress or anxiety.

 

Living Hand-to-Mouth

Thumbsucking is the most common habit of infancy. Early on, it’s harmless. But after a while, it can pose dental problems. The compulsive 5- and 6-year-old thumbsucker can change the shape of the roof of the mouth, causing upper teeth to protrude and lower teeth to jut in.

Sometimes a reward for not sucking helps. Or try taking a photograph of your child sucking his thumb. Often—when he sees himself—he wants to quit on his own. The real key here is to help your child stop rather than make him stop.

 

The Weedeater

No matter how you take your tobacco (easily, the world’s least beneficial plant), it’s not good for your mouth or teeth. Cigarette, cigar, and pipe smoking increase your risk of gum and oral cancers. You knew that. But even smokeless tobacco (snuff and chewing tobacco) does damage.

For one thing, tobacco juice generates a white pre-cancerous growth, leukoplakia, which progresses to oral cancer in more than 5 percent of diagnosed cases. Nicotine also reduces blood flow to gums—diminishing natural resistance to infection while encouraging detachment of gum tissue from the tooth itself.

Sports team dentists advise athletes (and their impressionable young fans) to nix the nicotine habit and instead, take up sugarless gum.

 

Some habits are good, some bad, some simply harmless. Everybody has them. Little people often get theirs by imitating big people. Many big people acquired theirs when they were little people. If you have bad habits try to find good ones to reward yourself for breaking the bad.

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Topics: Tooth grinding, dental habits, Bruxism, gettysburg sleep dentist

Gettysburg Dentist Sleep Apnea and Snoring Appliance Therapy

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 10, 2013 @ 15:01 PM

snore appliance, sleep apnea appliance, sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep dentist, gettysburg sleep apnea

 

Try to deny it, but everyone in the household knows if you snore or even, maybe, have sleep apnea. Just ask. Gentle snoring is irritating enough, but some snorers boom so loudly, the spouse retreats to another room for shut-eye. A trained sleep dentist or sleep apnea dentist may be the person to call!

 

About 40% of adults, mostly men snore. During sleep, throat muscles relax and narrow the airway, especially if the snorer carries a bit of extra weight. Excess tissue vibrates with every breath, and anyone within earshot awakens.

 

Devices invented to stop snoring:

A masks that strap directly over the mouth to muffle snores; snoreballs, a

tennis ball sewn into the pocket of a T-shirt worn backwards (to turn the snorer over); snore alarms; respirators or CPAP machines; and, finally,  a snore guard or snore appliance or dental sleep apnea appliance. This kind of dental appliance, something like an athletic mouthguard, keeps air passages open during sleep. It’s simple and it works. Find snore guards or dental sleep apnea appliances at a trained, sleep apnea dentist.

 

 Getting a better night’s sleep

 

Meanwhile, snoring and sleep apnea research goes on. Studies at the University of Pennsylvania focus on English bulldogs, whose facial structure makes them prone to snoring. Some medications may be helpful. You could sleep in the garage. You’re getting sleepy...

                                     

One of the most elusive comforts of life is a simple good night’s sleep. Especially as we get a little older and our sleep requirements change, a night of tossing and turning or frequent awakening can change how you greet the next morning. Sometimes the damage goes beyond grumpiness to distraction, lapse of memory, or even physical lethargy.

 

The American Medical Association maps a common sense plan for fine-tuning your personal biological clock when getting to sleep becomes a chore. The goal: sleep deep when you do, and awake clear-eyed and alert.

 

 And sweet dreams

 

• Figure how much sleep you need by following a set schedule for about a month. Add or subtract 30 minutes, and assess how you feel.

• Stick to your new schedule, even on weekends. If you nap, do so at the same time every day. If you go to sleep late, get up at your regular time anyway.

• Exercise in the afternoon, if you can, rather than in the morning.

• No coffee, tea or cola late in the afternoon and beyond. Get enough sodium. Don’t go to sleep too hungry or too full.

• The bedroom is for sleeping and such, not for TV. A dark, quiet, secure place is best—just cool enough.

• Set the alcohol and sleeping pills aside.

• Don’t worry. Keep a notepad on the night table and write down what’s bothering you before you settle in.

 

 There’s snoring and then there’s snoring

 

A simple yes to any of these symptoms could indicate you’re on your way to the dark side of snoring: sleep apnea, or obstruction of the airways during sleep. Lack of air isn’t something you should—or can—live with. Ask us to have a look, and we’ll discuss the extent of your symptoms.

 

What's your snoring or sleep apnea score?

■ Does your snoring bother your partner, wake you during the night, or send the dog howling?

■ Do you walk around in a stupor when morning comes?

■ Daytime, are you on the verge of falling asleep, or cranky and unable to concentrate?

■ Are you substantially overweight?

■ Do you awake and gasp for breath? No? Ask your partner.

 If you or someone you know snores or may have sleep apnea I encourage you to contact us for help.  Dr. Samuels is is a Gettysburg dentist trained in the fitting of snore appliances and can work with your physician, if necessary to help treat sleep apnea. Often this treatment is covered by medical insurance.  Many people have difficulty tolerating CPAP machines and do much better with a dental sleep appliance.

Start with a snore guard dental appliance. Your family could likely use the zzzzzzs.

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

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