Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

hygiene-granada-hillsMany people are afraid of the dentist – the noise of the drill, and memories of pain and discomfort make it a place that many people dread. However, modern dentists are very aware that many patients are anxious, and make a concerted effort to make patients as comfortable as possible.

One popular way of dealing with dental anxiety is sedation dentistry – using medication to allow patients to relax during the procedure. Often known as sleep dentistry, sedation dentistry can be of various types and strengths, depending on the level of anxiety of the patient and the length of the procedure.

For mild anxiety and short procedures, dentists are likely to use minimal sedation, where the patient will remain awake but will be relaxed. Examples of minimal sedation include inhaled nitrous oxide – “laughing gas” – which takes effect quickly, and wears off quickly, and will allow the patient to relax.

For longer procedures, or more anxious patients, dentists may use oral sedation using pills similar to Valium, or an IV applied sedative, leaving the patient conscious, but in a state where they are unlikely to remember the procedure. The patient will likely be awake and able to answer questions during the procedure, but will be groggy during and after the procedure, and may require assistance getting home.

For serious anxiety or very involved procedures, some dentists and oral surgeons will employ deep sedation or general anesthesia, where the patient will be entirely unconscious. In the case of general anesthesia, a third party anesthesiologist may be present to monitor the patient’s health during the procedure. With deep sedation and general anesthesia, the patient will likely not be permitted to leave alone – they may require a ride at the end of the procedure.

If you’re anxious about a dental visit, talk to your dentist about sedation options. Your dentist should be happy to work with you to ensure that you can endure the procedures you need without unnecessary anxiety, and that may involve some level of sedation.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

What are Inlays? | Northridge, Ca Dentist

459899307When a dentist removes decay, the void left by drilling must be filled with something to provide a proper bite surface and a pleasing aesthetic appearance. When patients have cavities on teeth with large bite surfaces, they’re often offered a choice in the way the cavity is treated. While composite fillings are very common, occasionally dentists will recommend inlays or onlays – knowing the difference can be helpful in knowing which to choose.

Composite fillings are synthetic resins that are bonded onto teeth in the cavity left by the decay. The composite resin is similar in color to natural teeth and can be shaped to fit into the natural curves of the teeth. However, it is softer than natural tooth material, and may not last as long as other solutions.

Inlays serve a similar purpose as composite fillings, but do so in a different way. Where a composite filling is bonded onto the tooth, an inlay is a restoration that is created – typically in a lab – and then cemented into place. The inlays are made of a much stronger material, and are molded to perfectly match the natural tooth curves. However, dentists will need to remove much more tooth material to get an inlay in place. The larger the decay, the more likely it is the dentist will recommend an inlay, as the inlay will be able to provide more strength for the weakened tooth than the softer composite resin.

If your dentist recommends inlays, rest assured that they’re typically a great way to add strength to a tooth that has been weakened by decay. While inlays aren’t as strong as a procedure such as a dental crown, they’re significantly stronger than composite fillings and provide a great visual match with natural teeth. If you have questions about the procedure, call your dentist – they’ll be happy to explain the pros and cons, and what you can expect during the process.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.

Sedation Dentistry | Northridge, Ca Dentist

Girl lying on the grassDoes the sound of a dental drill make you cringe? Does the mere thought of a filling make you imagine pain in your teeth? You’re not alone – dental phobias are quite common, but often the experience of going to a dentist isn’t nearly as unpleasant as many people imagine it to be. Modern dentists want you to visit often – frequent visits allows them to prevent or treat problems before they become serious – so they’re willing and able to help make your visits as pleasant as possible.

First, most dentists are very aware of pain, and will frequently ask you whether or not you’re comfortable. They’ll use a combination of topical local anesthetic (a quick numbing paste that will be swabbed onto your gums) and a quick injection of a similar local anesthetic, to numb deeper down. The combination of these will leave part of your mouth numb for a few hours, but you’ll feel virtually no pain during the procedure. Because pain is only one of your senses – and many people have equally strong reactions to the sound of the dental drill – dentists will often have music, earplugs, or TV to distract you from the sound of the drill. While it’s not perfect, it’s a significant improvement over dental visits of decades past.

If that’s not enough to encourage you to visit your dentist, speak to your dentist about other sedation options. Dentists have a number of options, from moderate sedation (laughing gas or valium style medication), to deep sedation (sleep dentistry), to full general anesthesia, the type you may receive if you were to undergo surgery in a hospital.

Even with moderate or deep sedation, dentists will use local anesthesia to help minimize pain in the hours following the procedure, so not only will you not see or hear the procedure, you’ll likely wake up to only minimal discomfort.

If you have a severe dental phobia and are interested in sedation dentistry options, speak to your dentist. It’s possible they may wish to perform more than a single procedure in a session, in order to get the most benefit for the increased cost and minimize the number of sedation sessions you must endure. While more advanced sedation requires more planning – you’ll often be asked not to eat prior to certain types of sedation, and you likely won’t be able to drive immediately after your procedure, dentists can accommodate even the most severe dental phobias.

Schedule an appointment today with Dr. David Lunt DDS Restorative, Preventive and General Dentistry by calling 818-885-7230. Visit the website for more information at www.davidluntdds.com.

 Dr. Lunt welcomes patients from Cal State Northridge, Burbank, San Fernando, Topanga Canyon, Valley Glen, Agoura and all surrounding areas.