Saturday, January 2nd, 2016
If you have a hard time feeling relaxed at your dental visit, don’t feel like you are alone. Many people experience dental fear or anxiety over dental visits but fortunately, sedation dentistry can help.
Sedation dentistry can be used for a range of treatments from a simple cleaning to a full-mouth restoration. How it is used and the type of sedation utilized depends upon the severity of the fear and the patient’s needs.
What Is Sedation Dentistry?
Dentists who are trained in sedation dentistry use medication to help patients feel relaxed and calm during dental procedures. Sometimes this is called “sleep dentistry” but patients aren’t actually asleep unless general anesthesia is used. Levels of sedation include:
- Minimal Sedation – Patients are awake but medication makes them feel calm and relaxed.
- Conscious Sedation – This is a more moderate form of sedation and although patients can follow instructions they may not remember the procedure occurring.
- Deep Sedation – This places the patient on the edge of consciousness and is used for patients with high levels of anxiety.
- General Anesthesia produces an unconscious state which brings added risks. This is usually reserved for oral surgery.
Are You A Candidate For Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation is appropriate for people with fears or feelings of anxiety that are preventing them from receiving the dental care that they need. Sedation dentistry can also help in cases of:
- A bad gag reflex.
- Patients with a low pain threshold.
- People who can’t sit still in a dental chair.
- Patients who need a large amount of dental work.
Most dentists can administer minimal sedation such as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or pills to make patients relax.
Conscious sedation permit requirements vary slightly from state to state, but typically a mini-residency with a minimum of 60 hours of didactic/classroom education and direct participation in administering IV sedation to 20 to 30 clinical dental cases will cover most state requirements. Wilbanks Smile Center and Dr. Wilbanks are certified by the state of Georgia to provide IV conscious sedation. The differences in oral conscious sedation and IV conscious sedation are: the training requirement of 100 hours of continuing education credits; safety and the ability to regulate the amount of sedation and medication to keep the patient comfortable, which is not possible in oral sedation; and the patient is monitored throughout the procedure with a vital sign monitor.
Find out more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile without fear by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.
Saturday, December 12th, 2015
Lots of people suffer from dental phobia or fear of the dentist. Researchers at Kings College in London found that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) offered a long-term solution to the problem.
This study looked at 130 patients and “fear of injections and drilling was the reason for the phobia in the majority of the patients.” These patients were then treated to a series of sessions that slowly incorporated the usual things that happen during a dental visit. After several weeks of exposure to various aspects of dentistry, patients reported a reduction in their fear of dental treatment.
Many patients avoid dental treatment altogether and live with pain and disfiguring dental problems because of anxiety.
Patients can get the treatment they need without long-term therapy simply by talking to a dentist that provides sedation dentistry. There are different levels of sedation available depending upon each patient’s needs and levels of anxiety.
Depending on a patient’s anxiety levels, different degrees of dental sedation may be required. These varying degrees include:
- Conscious Sedation – Most dentists use conscious sedation, a state that lets patients feel relaxed but also remain awake and able to respond to commands. You will not remember most of the procedure with this sedation.
- Deep Sedation – Patients with higher anxiety levels may feel more comfortable with deep sedation, which provides a state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness. In this state, patients cannot respond to commands and may need breathing assistance.
- Unconsciousness – An unconscious state is also occasionally obtained but requires general anesthesia and brings about added risks. This is usually only used for oral surgery.
Sedation dentistry allows patients that have avoided dentistry for years to have several procedures during one visit, without feeling anxiety or discomfort.
Find out more about sedation dentistry in Toccoa, GA by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center at 706-391-8777 today.
Tuesday, September 29th, 2015
Does the thought of a dental visit fill you with dread? You aren’t alone – many people are dental phobic to one degree or another. At one end of the spectrum are those that seek regular care — but never really relax in the chair. At the other end of the spectrum are people who are so fearful that they put off needed care for years, often living in pain, just to avoid the dentist.
No matter where you fall on this scale, the modern dental office has a way to help.
First, think about what you really fear at the dental visit. Are you worried about the anesthesia injection being painful? Today many dentist first numb the area with a topical anesthetic and then utilize computerized machine that gives a virtually painless shot. Some people are uncomfortable with the feeling of not being in control during their treatment — guess what — you can simply raise your hand and ask us to stop for a moment and we will gladly accommodate you. Using nitrous oxide during your appointment makes the time fly by and eliminates anxious feelings, and once the gas stops, you are able to resume your regular activities. See, the dental visit is sounding better already!
Dentists can also provide fearful patients with medication to help them relax prior to an appointment. Patients who experience serious dental phobia or patients who need extensive dental care may find that sedation dentistry is the perfect solution. Years of dental neglect can be corrected in just one visit. There are different levels of sedation available, simply discuss your needs with your dentist. It is possible for you to get the care that you need without worry and panic.
Find out more about sedation dentistry by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777 today.
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015
Fear of the dentist is not just confined to the United States. All over the world lots of people experience anxiety about dental visits. A recent survey found that much of this fear may be learned from parents!
The survey asked a group of parents about dental anxiety and about 48% said it was a problem for them. Surprisingly, when the children were asked the same question the percentage was almost identical. ”It’s easy for kids to pick up on their parents’ anxieties when it comes to the dentist,” said Dr. Bill Kohn, Vice President of Dental Science and Policy at the Delta Dental Plans Association, which commissioned the survey. “If children have a bad experience, it could jeopardize their willingness to visit the dentist throughout childhood and into adulthood.”
Children should visit the dentist about the time they get their first tooth. Early dental visits allow the child to be comfortable in the dentists office and also will allow the dentist to spot any problems early. For example, disharmonies between the growth of the upper and lower jaw can happen as your child is growing. An inconsistency between the length or width of the jaw can result in an imbalance of the facial bones, muscles and teeth. Early orthodontic treatment can reposition the jaw so that as the child continues to grow, the bones and teeth align correctly. If these inconsistencies are not addressed during childhood, they can result in major jaw issues that require orthognathic surgery on the jaw.
What about adults who already have dental anxiety? Patients who are fearful or anxious can receive all the care they need while feeling relaxed using sedation dentistry. Varying levels and types of sedation are available for patients depending upon their needs.
Find out more about solutions to dental anxiety by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-391-8777.
Thursday, March 20th, 2014
Does the thought of going to the dentist or needing to have dental work done make you feel anxious, distressed or scared?
Dental procedures shouldn’t be something to be and feared and avoided – regular check ups, cleanings, routine and restorative procedures are a vital part of taking care of your health and preserving your smile. Don’t neglect your dental health because of fear of getting into the dentist’s chair!
To ease your worries and discomfort regarding visiting the dentist, let’s look into sedation dentistry and how it can improve your experience. Although sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as sleep dentistry, most patients are usually remain awake throughout the procedure.
Sedation dentistry implements the use of medication to provide a relaxing and anxiety-free experience for people who are undergoing dental treatment. It can be used on patients of all ages – including young children over a certain age, so consult with your child’s pediatrician and dentist regarding whether sedation dentistry is right for them.
Other benefits of sedation dentistry include:
- It accommodates a low pain threshold or sensitive teeth
For those with the often painful and bothersome condition of having sensitive teeth, undergoing dental work can be especially unpleasant. Sedation dentistry makes the process significantly more comfortable for these patients.
- It’s great for those who can’t sit still in the dentist’s chair
For younger patients of those who usually get antsy or impatient while undergoing a prolonged dental procedure, sedation therapy allows them to feel settled and calm during complex and lengthy procedures.
- It helps those who have a bad gag reflex feel more comfortable
For many people, having any type of dental work done in their mouths makes them feel uncomfortable and triggers their gag reflex. Knowing that sedation dentistry helps to repress this makes it easier for some patients to undergo elective procedures that they may have otherwise been apprehensive about.
- It’s perfect for patients who need substantial dental work done
As a result of the soothing and sleepy experience that sedation dentistry provides, patients feel as though time flies by during their treatment, so their lengthy procedures seem to last for only a few minutes.
Sedation Dentistry in Toccoa
If you would like to learn more about sedation dentistry or any of the dental treatments that the Wilbanks Smile Center offers, contact us today and schedule your consultation. Our offices are located in Toccoa, GA, and we can be contacted at 706-886-9439. We look forward to hearing from you.
Thursday, September 12th, 2013
Have you ever found yourself living with dental pain rather than calling to make an appointment? Does the thought of a dental hygiene visit fill you with anxiety? Sedation dentistry is the perfect answer for people who experience dental fear or anxiety.
Sedation dentistry can help people who don’t really have dental fear but may have other issues that make getting dental care problematic. Sedation dentistry can help people who:
- Have a low pain threshold
- Have a bad gag reflex
- Have problems sitting still in the dental chair
- Need to have a large amount of dental work completed
Avoiding dental treatment, even preventative treatment like dental cleanings, is never the answer. Oral health problems like gum disease and tooth decay simply cannot “go away” on their own. The good news is that we can correct years of neglect in just a few visits using sedation dentistry.
How Does Sedation Dentistry Work?
There are several different levels of sedation dentistry. Most people are familiar with the most common type, nitrous oxide or laughing gas. Nitrous oxide offers a minimal amount of sedation that allows you to relax and wears off quickly. Oral sedation uses a pill that will produce mild to moderate sedation depending upon the dose. Patients will need someone to drive them home following treatment.
Wilbanks Smile Center is one of the few practices in this area to offer a full range of sedation options including IV conscious sedation. We have many patients who come to our beautiful area for a “dental vacation” and receive their needed care in a comfortable, anxiety free setting and then can relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings.
Find out more about sedation dentistry and how it can help you by contacting your Toccoa, GA office for sedation dentistry, Wilbanks Smile Center, at 706-886-9439 today.
Thursday, May 16th, 2013
Many people experience fear or anxiety about dental visits. It is estimated that between 9% and 20% of Americans avoid needed dental care because of anxiety or fear. Some patients even experience dental phobia, a more serious condition than dental anxiety.
Fortunately there are options for patients who suffer from these fears to get the dental care they need. Sedation dentistry lets dentists provide care for fearful patients while the patient rests quietly.
The reasons people develop dental fears include:
- Hearing dental “horror stories” told by others, especially as a child. Studies have shown that fathers may be factors in passing along dental fear.
- Fear of injections or pain. Many people are afraid of needles – this is quite common. The good news is that injections today are usually close to painless.
- Feeling helpless and the loss of control. Since you can’t see what is going on inside your mouth this can cause anxiety for some people.
- A previous bad experience with a dentist can cause dental anxiety over future visits.
Coping with dental anxiety involves a group approach. Your dentist and the entire office staff should be experienced working with patients who experience dental fear – a calm, peaceful office environment and supportive, patient staff can help you remain calm.
Sedation dentistry offers many options for treating patients with dental fear. Patients with extreme dental phobia may feel more comfortable being treated with deep sedation which allows needed treatment while the patient is in a semi-unconscious state. Patients with lower levels of anxiety may find relief with lighter forms of sedation.
Most patients with dental fears wait until they are in severe pain before seeking dental care. This does not have to be! Please contact Toccoa, GA sedation dentist Wilbanks Smile Center today to discuss your sedation dentistry needs and to schedule your appointment. Contact us at 706-886-9439.
Monday, February 18th, 2013
Sedation dentistry is designed to take the anxiety and discomfort out of your dental treatment by providing a calm, nurturing environment.
More than 30 million Americans report some degree of dental phobia – ranging from mild to severe. Depending upon the severity of their anxiety, patients may avoid dental treatment for years until a painful situation drives them to treatment.
It doesn’t have to be this way. Sedation dentistry allows you to get the treatment you need, even preventive treatment such as routine cleanings, without fear. Wilbanks Smile Center offers a range of sedation options for patients who suffer from dental anxiety or phobia. Sedation dentistry is safe with little risk for side effects and patients are monitored throughout the procedure for their safety and comfort. Sedation options range from nitrous oxide (laughing gas) which is highly effective for minor anxiety, to oral medications and even IV sedation for patients with a severe fear of treatment.
Many patients find that their fear diminishes after one or two appointments and they become comfortable and familiar with the nurturing environment offered in this Toccoa, GA office. Once fear is no longer a factor in dental treatment most people find that picking up the phone to make that preventative care appointment is not so hard.
Anxious patients are not only able to get needed restorative and preventive care using sedation dentistry, they can also improve the beauty of their smile through cosmetic dentistry. Often years of neglect and problems can be resolved in just a couple of visits while the patient remains totally relaxed.
Find out more about your sedation dentistry options by contacting Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439.
Saturday, December 8th, 2012
If you experience fear or anxiety about dental visits – don’t despair. You are not alone and today there are several sedation dentistry options for you.
There are a lot of people who avoid needed dental care because of their anxiety. Because preventive care is avoided, we usually only see these patients when they are experiencing a dental emergency and there are usually several problems that need care.
The good news – because of sedation dentistry patients who feel anxious or fearful can have the treatment they need and in many cases we can complete most, if not all, of the treatment in just one visit. Even more wonderful, the patient is completely relaxed. This technology allows us to treat patients that would otherwise avoid dental care and we all know that good oral health translates to better overall health.
Patients who have mild anxiety may find relief using nitrous oxide. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, creates a sensation of relaxation during treatment. The patient is awake but relaxed and the effects of nitrous oxide leave the body quickly.
For those with more extreme levels of fear we have other options including IV sedation. This is also called Deep Conscious Sedation and is usually used by dentists with specialized training and special certification. The medications are administered directly into the blood stream and the patient is unaware of the procedures being performed.
Why wait until you are experiencing oral pain? Get the care you need now and prevent small problems from becoming larger. Contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9469 to schedule your consultation.
Friday, November 16th, 2012
It isn’t that dental fear runs in a family like blue eyes or button noses but there is a parent connection. Fear of the dentist is passed on to children by their parents according to a study from the University of Madrid.
Previous research had connected the dental fear levels of children and parents (no real news there) but what is new about this study is it looked at the different roles that fathers and mothers play in passing these fears along.
Researcher America Lara Sacido explained “we have identified the relevant role that fathers play in transmission of this phobia in comparison to the mother.” The study confirms that the higher the level of dental anxiety in one family member, the higher the level for the rest of the family members. Fathers seem to play a key role, “although the results should be interpreted with due caution, children seem to mainly pay attention to the emotional reactions of the fathers when deciding if situations at the dentist are potentially stressful,” said Dr. Sacido.
This means that if the mother experiences dental anxiety, the transfer of this fear to the child could depend upon the reactions of the father in regard to dental care. The best way to make sure your child doesn’t inherit your dental anxiety is to remain relaxed and calm when visiting the dentist or discussing dental care. Positive emotions from parents make a huge difference in how a child feels about dental care.
Those of you with dental anxiety understand how difficult it can be to receive the care you need. Sedation dentistry offers many options, depending upon your needs, that allow you to receive needed restorative and preventive care.
Please contact Wilbanks Smile Center in Toccoa, GA today at 706-886-9439 to find out more about sedation dentistry and to schedule your visit.