Sedation Dentistry: What Is It?

Sedation Dentistry is a catch all term that can be used to describe dentistry that is performed while a patient is under some type of sedative medication or combination of medications.

Nitrous Oxide is one form of Sedation Dentistry. Nitrous Oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that can be inhaled to produce a euphoric feeling and to alleviate or diminish pain. Under Nitrous Oxide, patients remain aware of their surroundings, however, the mild sedative helps to relax nerves and calm anxieties that may be associated with visiting the dentist.

Oral Conscious Sedation is another form of Sedation Dentistry. In this case, sedative medications are given to patients orally prior to a dental procedure. The oral sedative medications produce a drowsy effect and make patients slightly less focused on their surroundings but will not put them to sleep. For this type of sedation, transportation must be arranged both to and from the dentist’s office.

IV Sedation is another form of Sedation Dentistry that involves administering sedative medications intravenously.  This type of sedation also requires that the patient has transportation both to and from the dentist’s office from another reliable adult.

Sedation Dentistry is a good option for patients with dental phobias or a fear of the dentist. It can also be a good solution for patients with severe gag reflexes, difficulty getting numb and physical or developmental disabilities that make it difficult to receive dental treatment. Lastly, it can also be used for patients who simply desire a more pleasant dental experience.

Sedation Dentistry has been used effectively for many years. However, it is not right for everyone. Only you and your dentist can decide whether or not Sedation Dentistry is right for you and if it is, which type best suits your needs. If you have questions about Sedation Dentistry, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


Should I Replace My Old Silver Amalgam Fillings?

For many years, amalgam has been the most popular material used by dentists to fill dental cavities. This is because it is relatively inexpensive as compared to other materials and is extremely durable. However, many in the dental profession are moving away from amalgam fillings. In fact, there are a number of dental practices located all over the country who have decided to no longer offer silver amalgam fillings. Instead, they are using materials such as porcelain and composite resin to fill cavities for their patients.

This change has come about due to both cosmetic and safety concerns. There is no doubt that porcelain and composite resin fillings are more attractive than silver amalgam fillings because they are tooth colored and can be made to closely match the color of natural teeth. After all, no one wants to look at a mouth full of metal every time they open their mouth. Even if your silver amalgam fillings are in the back of your mouth, they can still show when you laugh or smile. For this reason alone, many individuals are choosing to have their old silver amalgam fillings removed and replaced with natural looking porcelain or composite resin fillings.

Aside from the cosmetic concerns, other dentists and consumers alike are concerned about the safety of silver amalgam fillings. This is because amalgam filings contain Mercury: a known neurotoxin. While the evidence is not conclusive at this time, many worry that continued exposure to Mercury vapors from amalgam fillings can cause serious long-term health problems. Others are simply not comfortable having a known Neurotoxin placed so close to their brains.

If your old silver amalgam fillings are slipping or broken, this would be a good time to have them replaced with either porcelain or composite resin. Even if they are still functional, you may want to consider making this change to improve the appearance of your smile or to prevent long-term health problems. If this is the case, it is vitally important for you to find a dentist who is experienced in the safe removal of silver amalgam fillings. Dentists who are qualified to remove silver amalgam fillings employ certain safety precautions and protocols in order to limit your exposure to mercury vapors during the removal process.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health

If You Suffer From Chronic Headaches, Talk To Your Dentist About TMJ

Do you suffer from chronic headaches?  If so, it could be from a number of reasons.  That is why it is important to visit your doctor and get a proper diagnoses.  You may also want to talk to your dentist.  In many cases, chronic headaches are caused by malocclusions or bite problems such as Temporomandibular (TMJ) Disorders.

The Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) is the joint that connects the lower jaw (mandible) to the bone at the side of the head (temporal bone).  TMD, stands for Temporomandibular Disorders:  a group of disorders that arise from problems with the muscles of the jaw or the parts of the joint itself.  Symptoms of TMD include chronic headaches, ear pain, dizziness and more.  TMD can be caused by a number of factors including grinding or clenching the teeth, injuries to the jaw such as whiplash, dislocation of the soft cushion or disc between the ball and socket, and more.  In some cases, TMD can be treated by making adjustments to your bite.  This can be accomplished using orthodontic treatments or fixing restorations that are causing the jaw joint to be out of alignment.  In other cases, TMD may be treated with a custom-fitted mouthguard that you wear at night to prevent you from clenching and/or grinding your teeth when you sleep.

Each case of TMD is different, therefore, the treatments will vary depending on the cause, frequency and severity of symptoms. If you are suffering from chronic headaches and think they may be due to TMD or other bite problems, talk to your dentist today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health


More and More Patients Are Choosing Dental Implants to Replace Missing Teeth

Currently, the options for replacing missing teeth include bridges, partial dentures, full dentures and dental implants. Of these options, only dental implants provide a permanent solution that allows for replacement teeth that look, feel and function like natural teeth. For this reason, more and more patients are choosing dental implants to replace their missing teeth.

Dental implants are prosthetic tooth roots that are placed in a patient’s jawbone to take the place of missing tooth roots. Once the jawbone has healed and the implants are securely anchored into place (a process know as osseointegration), a crown or bridge may be fixed to the implants to take the place of missing teeth. Dental implants have become increasingly popular since their endorsement by the ADA (American Dental Association) in 1986. In fact, between the years of 1986 and 1999, the number of dental implants procedures in the United States tripled. It is now estimated that more than half a million dental implants are placed in the United States every year.

It is widely known that dental implants cost more than other tooth replacement options such as bridges and dentures. Why then is this procedure becoming so popular? Dental implants are the preferred tooth replacement option for most patients because they look natural, feel natural and allow for normal speech and normal chewing function. Perhaps most importantly, unlike dentures, dental implants are not at risk for slipping and falling out and do not require the use of messy, sticky and sometimes harmful adhesive creams. Patients who receive dental implants find themselves free from the shame and embarrassment of missing teeth and experience an increase in their confidence as well as their overall quality of life. To join the millions of Americans who have benefited from dental implants, contact a dental implants specialist in your local area today.

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health



Toothaches: Common Causes and Treatments

You are sitting at your office or at your son’s baseball game and suddenly you get a sharp pain in your tooth.  A few hours later, you have a dull or sometimes severe toothache.  What is causing your tooth pain and what should you do about it?

Toothaches are a common yet painful condition and can be caused by a variety of reasons including tooth decay, infection or trauma.  If you experience a persistent or severe toothache, it is a sign that something is going on with your dental health and should not be ignored.  If you are away from home or your dentist’s office is closed, you can try applying ice and taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications.  This however, will only treat your symptoms and will not fix the problem or make the pain go away permanently.  If you continue to ignore or just treat the symptoms, your tooth pain will only worsen over time.  To get lasting relief, it is necessary to identify and treat the source of the problem.  This will also prevent even more serious, painful and expensive dental problems from occurring.

An infection in the pulp and nerve located on the inside of a tooth is one of the most common reasons for persistent or severe tooth pain.  This can be caused by serious tooth decay, multiple procedures on a tooth or tooth trauma.  In this case, a root canal procedure may be required.  A root canal is a procedure performed by a dentist or Endodontist.  It involves removing the infected pulp and nerve from the center of the tooth, cleaning the area and then sealing it off to prevent further infection.

If you have persistent or severe tooth pain, don’t risk your long-term dental health by delaying or failing to seek treatment.  Call and schedule an appointment with your dentist today so you can get on the road to relief!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health



Start Out The New Year With A New Smile

Happy 2014.  It is a new year, full of possibilities.  This is the year to make things happen.  Maybe you want to get a new job or accept a promotion for a leadership position.  Perhaps it is time to get back on the dating scene.  Whatever your aspirations for 2014, don’t let your smile hold you back.  By investing in your smile today, you can improve your confidence, your self-esteem and your circumstances in the future.

Let’s face it, in today’s world, your appearance is more important than ever.  From your Linked-In profile to your Facebook page, your appearance is the first impression most people have of you.  Why not make it your best?  Improving your smile with cosmetic dentistry can give you the confidence you need to land that dream job, or date, or achieve whatever it is that you want to achieve.

With today’s advanced cosmetic dental procedures, it is now possible for virtually everyone to achieve the smile of their dreams.  If crooked teeth have you hiding behind your smile, talk to your dentist today about adult braces.  You can choose from clear aligners, clear braces and short term orthodontic solutions that will give you straighter teeth and a more balance smile without forcing you to wear metal braces for a year or more.  If tooth discoloration is adding years to your appearance, talk to your dentist about your available options for tooth whitening.  If you are missing a tooth or multiple teeth, talk to your dentist about custom dentures or dental implants.

Is the financial aspect of cosmetic dentistry holding you back?  If so, talk to your dental practice about in-house financing and flexible payment plans.  Don’t let another year go by without investing the time and money needed to give you a beautiful, balanced, and natural smile!

Posted on Behalf of Dr. Justin Scott, Pure Dental Health