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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

How to Handle Dental Phobia Gettysburg Dentist

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Feb 15, 2016 @ 13:02 PM

 

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Millions of Americans avoid going to the dentist for one surprising reason: dental phobia. While it's normal to feel some anxiety associated with visiting your dentist, true dental phobia goes far beyond nervousness. In fact, it can be truly debilitating, resulting in an avoidance of seeking dental care for years. But good oral hygiene is important-- not only to the health of your mouth, but to the health of your entire body. Thus, finding ways to cope with dental phobia is essential. Consider the following tips to help alleviate your fear of the dentist:

Be honest about your concerns. Tell your dentist upfront about your anxiety and what specifically causes it. For example, some people fear pain while others fear a loss of control during treatment. Be honest about your fears so that your dentist can help you develop a plan for comfortable treatment.

Ask what to expect. For many people, dental phobia stems from a fear of not being able to control the situation. In order to help combat this fear, ask your dentist to walk you through the entire procedure before he starts. Knowing what to expect in advance will eliminate any surprises and help alleviate anxiety.

Use a sign. Before treatment begins, establish a signal that you'll use to let your dentist know when you need a break. The signal can be something as simple as raising one hand into the air. This will let your dentist know that you need a break to calm down and focus on your breathing.

Bring your favorite music along. Distraction is often a useful tool for combating anxiety. Consider bringing along some of your favorite relaxing music to play during your treatment. Focus on the music instead of the procedure.

Discuss sedation dentistry: IV sedation anesthesia can dramatically reduce or eliminate anxiety.  If you need a lot of catch-up dental treatment, often it can all be accomplished in one comfortable visit with sedation anesthesia.

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

 

GettysburgCosmeticDental.com     717-334-0555

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg

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

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

Gettysburg Dentist discusses Dental Phobia Treatment

Posted by Peter Samuels on Wed, Apr 9, 2014 @ 19:04 PM

 

 Sedation Dentist

A fear of dentists is a very real problem for thousands of people.  Whether they've had a negative experience at a dentist previously or they've heard horror stories from friends and family members, fear often multiplies, causing loads of dental problems.  The treatment of dental phobia is incredibly beneficial to oral health and better overall whole-body health.

It may sound silly to people who have had good experiences with their dental practitioner, but dental phobia is a real and common phenomenon.  Fortunately for fearful patients, there are various treatment options available that allow patients to have the dental care that they need while alleviating a lot of their anxiety.

Experienced dentists understand dental phobias and will work with anxious patients to alleviate their anxiety before it can become a problem.  Dentists with experience in the treatment of phobic patients can calmly explain the process of the treatment and put the patient in control.  They make sure that the patient understands what's going to happen, and they ask for permission to continue the treatment.  This gives patients a sense of control over their treatments, and removes a lot of the out-of-control feelings that often accompany dental treatments.

For patients who are experiencing dental phobia, several suggestions have proven to be successful.

1. Go to your first visit with a friend or family member that you know well and trust.  Sometimes having a friendly and familiar face is all that's needed to make the process run a lot more smoothly.  Your friend (preferably one who has sufficient experience in the dental office as a patient) can assuage your fears before they have a chance to become overwhelming. 

2. While receiving treatment, find a way to distract yourself from the procedure itself.  Many dentists will play music or have a TV available in the treatment room to keep an anxious patient's mind off of what's happening.  If a TV is not available, listen to music on headphones and don't pay attention to what the dentist is doing.

3. Some dentists now offer sedation dentistry, which can relax an anxious patient and allow necessary treatments to occur without undue stress. With I.V. sedation anesthesia safely provided by an anesthesiologist, years of work can often be caught up in one, comfortable visit. Most patients feel like they were in the chair for just a few minutes!

4. Practice relaxation techniques.  Anxiety is often accompanied with shallow, light breathing, which can make stress feel even more profound.  Simply practicing deep breathing techniques can make a world of difference in a patient's mental state, and don't be afraid to ask to take a break if things start to seem too overwhelming. 

The most important thing for patients with dental phobia to remember is that they need to find a dental office and dentist they feel comfortable with.  Finding a dentist you can trust is incredibly important.  The more comfortable you feel with your dental practitioner, the more likely you will be to continue to be treated for any issues that may arise.  If patients distrust their dentist, they're likely to skip appointments or refuse to make them when there is a problem.  Finding the right dental office is worth the effort if it means treating problems sooner rather than later.   By practicing good oral care and nipping potential issues in the bud, extensive treatments may not be necessary - and regular checkups can identify and tackle issues before they become problems.

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, sleep dentist Gettysburg

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

Gum Disease May Increase Certain Health Risks

Posted by Peter Samuels on Thu, Jan 23, 2014 @ 14:01 PM

Gettysburg dentist gum disease


 

Gum disease is the result of unchecked bacterial activities in the mouth causing inflammation of the gums and tissues that surround and support the teeth resulting in eventual tooth loss. But its devastating effects are not just confined to the mouth. Various studies reveal a frightening correlation: a number of health risks may be related to gum disease such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease and certain cancers. 

Endocarditis

The bacteria in the mouth don’t just stay in the mouth cavity. Bacteria may enter the blood stream via the infected gum and attached themselves to the damaged areas of the heart. When that happens, the inner lining of the heart becomes infected resulting in endocarditis. If it's left untreated, it may cause damage or destroy the heart value. 

Cardiovascular Disease

Those suffering from gum disease are twice as likely to have cardiovascular disease because bacteria in the mouth may cause the hardening of arteries. There are two possibilities. In the first possibility,  the bacteria traveling through the blood stream may stick to the fatty plaques already in the blood stream, bulking it up and narrowing the arteries in the process. The other possibility, and the more current of the two, has to do with the body’s response to invading bacteria in the blood stream. It triggers inflammation, thereby causing the blood cells to swell and narrow the arteries.

Diabetes

Does gum disease compound diabetes or does diabetes contribute to gum disease? The chicken-and-egg question remains open to debate but one thing is clear: research shows that gum disease and diabetes are closely linked. Those with gum disease have a harder time controlling their blood sugar level, which may lead to more diabetes complications. Conversely, diabetes makes the body more susceptible to infection, gum included.

Osteoporosis

Osteoporosis, the disease that leads to bone loss, may also affect the bone in the jaw. When the density of the bone in the jaw decreases, it becomes unstable and loses its ability to support the teeth.

Respiratory Disease

People with gum disease are also more susceptible to respiratory disease as bacteria in the oral cavity may be aspirated into the lungs to cause respiratory complications and chronic lung conditions such as emphysema.

Other Diseases

Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, Sjogren's syndrome (an immune disorder), complications in people suffering from HIV/AIDS, even premature birth and low birth weight have been linked to gum disease.

If gum disease increases certain health risks, it is paramount to maintain good oral health by exercising oral hygiene and having regular dental checkups. Call us today for a comprehensive exam. 

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Dentist in Gettysburg, Periodontal Disease, Gettysburg dentist, Dentist Gettysburg

What You Should Know About Periodontal Disease Before It's Too Late

Posted by Peter Samuels on Mon, Jan 20, 2014 @ 11:01 AM

gum disease Gettysburg

 

Periodontal disease affects the gum and compromises the bone supporting the teeth. In full-blown cases, this silent but insidious disease may lead to eventual tooth loss. One out of two Americans, aged 30 and older, suffer from some form of periodontal disease, according to the Center for Disease Control. Given the preponderance of periodontal cases, how can you prevent periodontal disease? If knowledge is power, knowing how periodontal disease comes about and how you can prevent it is key to keeping it at bay. Let’s find out:

How It All Started

Just like a few little termites can eventually bring down the house by reproducing more termites to eat at the foundation of the house, periodontal disease begins small too. First, poor oral hygiene may give it fuel. Bacteria (together with food particles) in the mouth deposit a clear, slimy layer on the teeth, called plaque. If it’s not removed by tooth brushing or flossing, they hardened and form tartar (not the cream of tartar, but nasty gum-ruining tartar). Tartar can be stubborn and can only be removed with the help of professional cleaning.

Progression to Gingivitis

If plaque is left to fester, it wrecks damage. The bacteria inherent in plaque may cause gum inflammation, causing the gum to become red, swollen and to bleed easily. The dentist refers to this mild form of periodontal disease as gingivitis. It’s the beginning of the slide, unless you seek dental treatment right away.

Periodontal Disease

Unless gingivitis is taken care of, the plaque will continue its sure and sly work, causing the gum to pull away from the teeth, leaving “pockets” between the gum and the teeth, opening it up to infection. As the body tries to fight off these bacterial invasion of the gums, bacteria toxins formed and they break down the bone and connective tissue in the process. If it’s left unchecked, they will gradually destroy the bones, gums and tissue that support the teeth. The sad result? Loss of teeth.

How can you make sure you’re not a victim of periodontal disease?

Watch out for these telltale signs: perpetual bad breath, red, swollen gums that bleed easily, receding gums, longer-looking teeth, loose or sensitive teeth. If you’ve any of these symptoms, a visit to the dentist is necessary, even crucial.

Because periodontal disease can inflict serious damage in the long run, nipping it in the bud is your best bet. Call us today for a comprehensive dental exam.

Peter J. Samuels, DDS is a an instructor at the University of Maryland Dental School and a local Gettysburg dentist.  GettysburgFamilyDentist.com  334-0555

Submitted by Peter J. Samuels, DDS

Topics: Sedation dentist Gettysburg, Dentist in Gettysburg, Periodontal Disease, 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

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