If you break a sweat at the thought of having your teeth cleaned, you certainly aren’t alone. Many people struggle with dental fears and phobias, and oftentimes, the anxiety people experience when they think about the dentist is enough to keep them from receiving the dental care they need. If this sounds like you, don’t worry — there are many options available to help ease your anxiety when you go to the dentist.
At Trillium Dental, we pride ourselves on maintaining eight comfortable dental clinics throughout Ottawa, including dental offices in Downtown Ottawa, Alta Vista, Kanata, Orleans, Stittsville, Stittsville West, and at the Bayshore and Westgate Malls. Our dentists and dental hygienists understand that having dental work done isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, and we are pleased to offer several sedation dentistry options to make your dental appointment more relaxing. Contact us today to learn about our sleep dentistry options, or continue reading to learn how dental sedation can ease your anxiety in the dentist’s chair.
TAKES THE EDGE OFF
Dental sedation is great for patients with anxiety and dental phobias because it takes the edge off, allowing patients to relax through their teeth cleaning, root canal, or other dental treatment. If you can barely get yourself in the door of your local dental clinic without having a panic attack, you’ll be happy to know that we can help ease your nerves via IV sedation, oral sedation, or nitrous oxide.
Both IV sedation and oral sedation allow patients to slip into a deeply sedated state so that they do not feel any pain or anxiety during their dental appointment. Commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry,” these forms of dental sedation are great for patients who have severe dental anxiety, a strong gag reflex, or a very low pain tolerance. Though patients are not unconscious, they will be unable to drive home from their appointment, so be sure to arrange for a ride to and from our family dental clinic if you opt for either of these dental sedation options.
On the other hand, nitrous oxide is a light sedative that helps patients relax without rendering them unable to drive. Also known as “laughing gas,” this type of dental sedation is inhaled through the nose, providing instant relief for nerves, fear, and anxiety. Many patients can benefit from nitrous oxide during their dental appointments, even if they have a mild fear of the dentist. Our goal is to provide you with an enjoyable dental checkup, and if nitrous oxide would make you feel more comfortable during your teeth cleaning, just let us know.
MAKES THE APPOINTMENT EASIER
In addition to taking the edge off, dental sedation also makes teeth cleaning and other dental treatments easier. With less fear and resistance from patients, our dentists and dental hygienists are able to do their jobs more efficiently, so you can get in and out of our dental office as quickly as possible. We’re here to provide the best dental care possible, and often, dental sedation allows us to get through teeth cleanings, dental x-rays, and oral cancer screenings with minimal hang-ups.
Given that people with dental fears and phobias tend to avoid visiting their local dental clinic for routine teeth cleanings, many of them require more thorough teeth cleanings when they do. Not only does this mean longer dental appointments, but it can also lead to patients being more stressed out during their visit. With the use of sedation, our dentists are able to relax these patients so they can get a thorough teeth cleaning and oral exam when they visit our family dental clinic. This way, we can get you in and out as quickly as possible while still providing a comprehensive dental exam, whether that consists of a basic teeth cleaning, cavity fillings, or a gingivitis treatment.
TRY SLEEP DENTISTRY AT ONE OF OUR DENTAL CLINICS IN OTTAWA
Now that you know how sleep dentistry can ease your anxiety and dental phobias, there is no reason to keep putting off your next dental appointment. Contact our team at Trillium Dental in Ottawa to learn more about our dental sedation options, or book an appointment at one of our Ottawa dental clinics today!
If you read part one of this blog series, you know how to control bleeding after wisdom tooth removal surgery, as well as the importance of staying hydrated and taking your medication. Here, our dentists will provide a few more tips to get you on the fast track to recovery in the days after your oral surgery. Contact Trillium Dental in Ottawa if you have specific questions about our wisdom tooth extractions, or schedule an appointment today at our family dental clinic!
As mentioned in our last blog post, you’ll need to take a few days to recover without any vigorous activity or exercise after your surgery. This allows your body to focus on healing the surgical site, which should only take a few days. During this time, watch all your favorite movies, get lots of rest, and only move around when necessary. Most people take three to four days off work after their wisdom tooth removal so they can recover fully before returning to normal activities.
STAY AWAY FROM SOLID FOODS
It is essential to stay away from solid foods during your wisdom tooth recovery, as hard foods that require lots of chewing can prolong the healing process. Smoothies, protein shakes, soup, and yogurt are all great foods to eat after your surgery, as are applesauce, scrambled eggs, mashed potatoes, and ice cream. If you’re drinking lots of smoothies, juices, and shakes, make sure to drink directly out of the glass instead of using a straw, which can cause the blood clots to dislodge and restart the healing process. Trust us — wisdom tooth dry sockets are not something to gamble with!
RINSE YOUR MOUTH (BUT NOT TOO MUCH)
Cleanliness is also critical for a speedy wisdom tooth recovery. After you eat, gently clean the area with a cup of warm salt water, or rinse out the surgical site with a water syringe. Make sure you get any food out of the crevices without swishing the water too vigorously, as this can cause dry sockets as well. Ideally, you should be rinsing your mouth at least five times per day to keep the area as clean as possible and avoid wisdom tooth infections. Also, make sure you’re still brushing your teeth to eliminate any bad mouth bacteria, just do so gently and make sure to avoid the stitches behind your back molars.
USE AN ICE PACK
Many patients experience swelling after wisdom tooth extraction, which can be reduced with regular icing and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like iBuprofen. Mild bruising is also expected, which is just part of the body’s natural healing process. To avoid too much swelling and bruising, ice constantly for the first two days after your wisdom tooth removal, and take iBuprofen as needed.
SCHEDULE YOUR WISDOM TOOTH EXTRACTION IN OTTAWA
Now that you have a few tips to help you speed up your wisdom tooth recovery, it’s time to schedule your appointment. Contact Trillium Dental for more information about wisdom tooth extractions, or book your appointment with us online!
Wisdom tooth removal is a right of passage that many teens and young adults must go through, though it isn’t the most fun transition into adulthood. In fact, many people dread wisdom tooth extractions, partly due to the anesthesia, and partially because of the recovery period. We’ll be the first to say that wisdom tooth removal isn’t always a walk in the park, but there are many things you can do to help speed up your recovery post-surgery.
At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, our oral surgeons perform wisdom tooth extractions and provide patients with all the materials they need for wisdom tooth removal aftercare. Here are a few aftercare tips to ensure a speedy recovery after your wisdom tooth removal:
IMMEDIATELY AFTER SURGERY
When you come out of wisdom tooth surgery, it is completely normal to experience some bleeding for the next few hours. However, you may still be in a state of confusion until the anesthesia completely wears off, so make sure not to mess with the gauze. You also won’t be able to drive, so arrange for a friend or family member to transport you to and from your appointment. They’ll know to watch and make sure you don’t fuss with the gauze, as well as what to do if the bleeding gets worse.
Bleeding tends to worsen if the patient chews on the gauze in their mouth, and this also increases the risk of injury to the numb areas of the mouth. To avoid excessive bleeding, refrain from chewing on the gauze or exploring the surgical site with your tongue. If bleeding becomes worse, switch out the gauze and bite down on it for half an hour. Exercise or excessive movement also stimulates blood flow, so these activities should be avoided for several days.
It is also very important to drink lots of water after you come out of anesthesia because you are likely to be dehydrated and feel dizzy. Patients are prohibited from eating or drinking any liquids eight hours before their wisdom tooth extraction, as nausea and vomiting are two common side effects of general anesthesia as well as many of the pain medications that are prescribed post-surgery. If you feel nauseous or dizzy, sip on some ginger ale, soda, or tea, and avoid drinking out of a straw — this can cause blood clots to be dislodged, creating the dreaded wisdom tooth dry sockets.
TAKE PAIN MEDICATION & ANTIBIOTICS
Another thing to be wary of is that the pain following wisdom tooth removals can creep up on patients, hitting them suddenly when the anesthesia wears off. To avoid this, our dentists recommend picking up your pain medication from the pharmacy on your way home from our dental clinic. That way, you can take a pill and settle into your couch or bed before you feel any discomfort. Antibiotics are also prescribed to prevent wisdom tooth infections, which can be very painful and unpleasant. If you are prescribed antibiotics, take them as directed on the label and be sure to finish out the medication.
SCHEDULE A WISDOM TOOTH REMOVAL IN OTTAWA
Wondering what tips we have for the days following your wisdom tooth extraction? Continue to part two of this blog series, or contact Trillium Dental to schedule your wisdom tooth removal in Ottawa!
In the world of dentistry, we commonly use different types of sedation for a number of reasons. For some patients, a mild sedative is beneficial to help ease nervousness or a dental phobia, and for others, local anesthesia is used to numb areas in the mouth before undergoing dental treatment. In some cases, such as wisdom teeth removal and other forms of oral surgery, patients are put under a general anesthetic during the dental procedure. Regardless of the type of anesthesia being used, many patients express anxiety with regard to sedation dentistry, and more often than not, this is because they don’t know what it entails.
At Trillium Dental in Ottawa, we strive to ensure that each and every one of our patients have a pleasant experience with us and receive the quality dental care they deserve. For us, this means not only providing them with affordable dental care that addresses all of their oral health needs, but also doing everything in our power to make sure patients are comfortable during their dental visit. Our dentists and dental hygienists believe that communication is the key to a pleasant dental experience, so for those of you who have reservations about anesthesia, “laughing gas,” and other aspects of sedation dentistry, here’s what you need to know.
TYPES OF SEDATION DENTISTRY
Though there are several different kinds of sedation used in family dentistry, orthodontics, and oral surgery, they all have one thing in common: the purpose is to make the patient more comfortable during the dental treatment. Some sedation techniques involve putting the patient to “sleep,” while others simply aid in patient relaxation when an area is numbed for treatment. That being said, here are the different types of sedation we use at our Ottawa dental clinic:
IV sedation stands for intravenous conscious sedation and is commonly referred to as “sleep dentistry,” though this is deceiving because patients that undergo IV sedation remain conscious. However, these patients are put in a much more relaxed state, which proves helpful for those who have a fear of dental tools, treatments, and procedures, as well as those with anxiety or a low pain tolerance. If you wish to use IV sedation during a general dentistry teeth cleaning, cavity filling, or any other type of treatment, you’ll need to arrange for a friend or family member to drive you to your dental appointment and bring you home afterward. This is because IV sedation puts you in a deeply relaxed state that renders you incapable of driving safely until it wears off after an hour or two.
Another sedation dentistry option we offer at our Ottawa dental office is oral sedation, which acts similarly to IV sedation in the sense that it puts patients in a relaxed, yet conscious state during their dental treatment. The main difference is that this type of sedation is taken orally in the form of a pill, rather than being administered intravenously, where the patient is hooked up to an IV drip. As with IV sedation dentistry, patients who opt to undergo oral sedation during their dental visit must arrange for someone to bring them to and from their dental appointment, as the effects of oral sedation inhibit a person’s ability to safely operate a vehicle. Our team at Trillium Dental also recommends that someone stay with you until the effects of either IV sedation or oral sedation have completely worn off, because the last thing you’d want is to trip and fall or hurt yourself in some way at home.
Nitrous oxide, also known as “laughing gas,” is a sedation dentistry technique that is administered through a small mask that is placed over a patient’s nose and mouth. Like the previously mentioned types, this kind of anesthesia helps patients relax without rendering them unconscious. Rather, it eases any stress the patient might be experiencing before their dental treatment, which makes the overall experience much more pleasant and comfortable. The effects of nitrous oxide are calming and wear off soon after the mask is removed, so patients do not necessarily require someone to take them home after the dental treatment is complete. However, our dentists and dental hygienists believe that it’s always best to air on the side of caution, so please don’t hesitate to ask a friend or family member to accompany you to and from our dental clinic.
Unlike the three types of dental sedation mentioned above, general anesthesia puts patients “to sleep” or “knocks them out” during the duration of their dental treatment. This type of sedation dentistry is often used during wisdom teeth removal and dental implant procedures, as these tooth extraction procedures would be far more complicated and unpleasant for patients if they were awake. When you meet with your wisdom teeth removal specialist and anesthesiologist, they will explain how the procedure works, what to expect during recovery, and how the general anesthesia will be administered. Common techniques for this type of sedation include total inhalation anesthesia and total intravenous anesthesia, both of which put the patient in a safe, unconscious state. When patients come out of general anesthesia, it is not uncommon for them to feel “loopy,” “silly,” or otherwise disoriented, so it is mandatory for them to have someone transport them to and from their dental appointment.
This brings us to the last type of sedation dentistry we use here at Trillium Dental, which is local anesthesia, or the numbing of certain areas in the mouth during a dental treatment or procedure. Local anesthesia is commonly used to numb the treatment area around tooth cavities or a damaged nerve in the tooth, which is removed during a root canal treatment. In either case, a shot of local anesthesia is administered around the treatment area to help prevent any discomfort when a patient gets a cavity filling or an infected tooth pulp removed. Not only does local anesthesia help prevent the patient from feeling any pain during these types of dental treatment, but it also makes their overall dental experience much more comfortable.
TRY SEDATION DENTISTRY AT TRILLIUM DENTAL IN OTTAWA
We hope that this post has answered some of your questions regarding the different types of sedation dentistry and how they are used at our Ottawa dental clinic. Our philosophy is to provide the best dental care possible for all of our patients, and sometimes, that means providing them with a mild sedative to calm their nerves and ease any fear they may have. As a family dental clinic, there is nothing more important to us than the comfort, happiness, and well-being of our patients, so we do everything in our power to help make that happen.
Interested in trying a method of sedation dentistry during your next dental appointment? Contact us today to learn more, or book your appointment online at Trillium Dental in Ottawa!