Category Archives: Comfort Dentistry

Is sedation dentistry safe if I’m a coward at the dentist?

I am a coward at the dentist and I have a low tolerance for pain. I know I need sedation but I’m concerned about the safety. A normal person would be numbed with local anesthetic, but it doesn’t work for me. My dentist has tried numbing me 2 hours before my appointment but it has no effect. It’s as if nothing was done at all. He isn’t a gentle dentist either. So I’ve put off any serious dental work. Within the past two weeks I received a postcard in the mail from a nearby dental office. It’s a husband and wife team that practices sedation dentistry. Is this really a safe alternative? Is there any way to tell whether or not it would work on me before the dentist starts drilling in my mouth? Thanks Lizzy

Lizzy – Your case is not unusual.  Millions of Americans have dental anxiety or dental phobia and consider themselves to be dental cowards. It helps to have a gentle dentist, but sometimes that isn’t enough. When the anxiety is high enough, local anesthetic either wears off very quickly or doesn’t work at all. Sedation dentistry is a safe alternative.

Conscious oral sedation uses common anti-anxiety medication to relax you. You’ll still be conscious and have your reflexes, and your vital signs will be monitored. But you’ll be completely relaxed. Some dentists use nitrous oxide to calm the patient so that the local anesthetic will be effective. Remember sedation is not local anesthetic, but it helps you relax so that the anesthetic will work. It can also help you experience less sensitivity to pain.

Sedation Dentistry Is Safe

Sedation dentistry is safer and less expensive than general anesthesia. It helps you to have a pleasant dental experience, and it’s likely that you won’t recall what happened during the appointment. It is safe. Your medical and prescription history is reviewed to determine if you are a candidate for it. During your dental procedure, your vital signs are monitored.

You can find a gentle dentist who enjoys treating fearful and anxious patients. It’s important that you get the treatment you need, so that you can maintain good oral health. Sedation dentistry can help.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.

Can I take Benadryl to make me sleepy before I go to the dentist?

For the average person getting cavities filled might not be a problem, but it’s a problem for me. I need something to sedate me or relax me before my dentist’s appointment. I have never had cavities before, and I hate going to even the nicest, most gentle dentist. Now I have 2 cavities that need to be filled. I am going with composite and I know that takes longer than silver fillings. My question is can I take maybe a Benadryl or something for the fillings even though it’s a simple and quick procedure? Will Benadryl affect anything the dentist will do or put in my mouth? I got a suggestion to drink alcohol before the appointment but that doesn’t sound like a good idea to me. What is something safe for me to take before the dental appointment? Manuel

Manuel – Yes, you can be sedated for the simplest of dental procedures. But you shouldn’t try to sedate yourself with Benadryl, alcohol, or by any other means. If you are anxious or nervous, a sedation dentist prefers that you be relaxed before your appointment. If you can’t relax, the dental treatment and your visit won’t be productive. But leave the sedation to your dentist.

A sedation dentist uses nitrous oxide (also referred to as laughing gas), conscious oral sedation (mild, anti-anxiety medication), or IV sedation to help you relax during a dental procedure. The levels of sedation offered varies with the dentist and his or her training. All are common, safe means of helping patients relax.

Many patients cancel dental appointments because of their anxiety. Some patients actually refer to themselves as dental cowards or dental phobic. Speak with your dentist about your concerns and your desire for sedation. If he or she doesn’t offer a level of sedation adequate for your needs, you can consider finding a dentist who does.

Your comfort level with a dentist can contribute to or decrease some of your anxiety. If you need to find a dentist who practices sedation, we suggest that you schedule a consultation first to ensure you are comfortable with the office environment, staff members, and dentist.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Need an affordable dentist that does great work

I love my dentist. He is great for cleanings, fillings, etc., but I don’t trust him to do my cosmetic dentistry work. I asked him about training in cosmetic dentistry, but he really doesn’t have much. He referred me to a colleague in a nearby town, but this dentist is way on the upper end for cost. I need too much work done to pay that much. I don’t know any cosmetic dentists. I know I can do an internet search to find one, but do you have any suggestions on how I find an affordable dentist that really does great work? – Maya

Maya – If you know friends who have had cosmetic dentistry, you can ask for recommendations for a dentist who does high-quality work. You may also consider asking neighbors, workmates, or other contacts if they have recommendations.

During your Internet searches, find out what training the dentist received in cosmetic dentistry, where it was received, and what credentials he or she has. Also consider how much experience the dentist has in cosmetic dentistry and whether or not he or she stays current through continuing education. Check for a smile gallery of before-and-after pictures on the dentist’s website. These considerations will help determine if the dentist produces high-quality results.

For your concerns about finding an affordable dentist, the website should indicate whether the dentist accepts insurance, or offers payment plans or financing.  He or she may offer to do the work in phases to make it more affordable for you. You can call the dentist’s office for specific information.

Keep in mind that high-quality costs more. It’s true of most goods and services, and that’s often because it costs more for the provider of the services or goods to purchase or provide high-quality services or products. So even though the services you receive can be make affordable for you, expect to pay a little more than average if you want outstanding cosmetic dentistry.

After you have a few dentists you would like to consider, schedule consultation appointments, to help make your final decision.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Has my bulimia totally messed up my teeth?

When I talk to my friends I can see their eyes drift toward my teeth trying to figure out what is going on with them. I am bulimic but I haven’t told anyone other than my husband and sister. This has been going on for 7 years or so. I am in therapy and have been event free for 5 months. I was hoping that time would improve the look of my teeth but they still look horrible and are very weak. Have I messed up my teeth for life? I know I am going to have to face a dentist one day I just want to know if there is anything that can be done. Thanks Krissie

Krissie – There are many patients with eating disorders who are in recovery and have their teeth successfully restored by cosmetic dentists.

Although your teeth need to be examined by a dentist, it is safe to say that your chances of getting a beautiful smile are very good. There are several options for restoring teeth, but the treatment that is best for you depends on your case and the condition of your teeth.

Porcelain crowns cover and protect damaged teeth, porcelain veneers, conceal the front only of your natural teeth, and dental implants restore missing teeth or teeth that are too severely damaged to be saved.

Your comfort during the process is important. Without disclosing details about your eating disorder, you can request consultations with a few cosmetic dentists to find one with whom you are comfortable for the journey of restoring your smile. Keep in mind that upon examining your teeth, a skilled dentist is able to discern that an eating disorder is the cause of the damage to your teeth. So don’t be surprised by that. Continue your conversation and ask questions about treatment options to find a dentist that is right for you.

Best wishes on a progressive recovery.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Ripped off by mobile dentist

I saw an ad for a mobile dentist. It looked legit so I scheduled an appointment. There are certain spots that the mobile van is supposed to be on certain days so I went. I figured this was good and convenient for me and I don’t like sitting around in dentists office any way. So the setup wasn’t really as good as a dental office but I figured it’s a van so I shouldn’t expect the same thing. Any way the guy started cleaning my teeth and cut my gums twice.I should have left but I didn’t. Then after my teeth were cleaned and polished he told me that I needed four fillings and to schedule another appointment but he needed 20% down. I didn’t give cash but I put the 20% on my credit card. I know dumb me. Any way I just saw on the news that the guy is a scam and I have to get my credit card company to see if I can get my money back. If they can find him. Just wanted to let people out there to know to beware. D.C.

D.C. – Thank you for sharing your experience. There is a lesson for all to learn. The legitimacy of a business—particularly mobile healthcare—needs to be verified in advance.

You are like many people who don’t like going to the dentist. But not all dentists are alike. Many dentists have created an office environment and a dental experience with patients like you in mind. The next time you need an appointment, look for websites that feature gentle dentistry. Take time to look at patient reviews to find out what you can expect from the dentist and his or her team.

We are certain that you can find a positive dental experience if you take a little time to find the best dentist for you.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

How can I get over my phobia from dentists?

i’ve had dental problems ever since i can remember.  in the past, several dentists made painful mistakes with my teeth…and i started to hate going to the dentist…and put off visiting them…and now my teeth are so bad I am ashamed to smile…what can help me get over my fear? Tab

Tab – Find a dentist who is concerned about your comfort. You will find websites for dentists who feature gentle dentistry or comfort dentistry.

These dentists and their staffs enjoy treating anxious patients, and they will go out of their way to make you feel comfortable and relaxed. If you are especially anxious, nitrous oxide or oral conscious sedation can be used to calm you during your dental procedure.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

How much does sedation dentistry usually cost?

I’m planning on getting a lot of dental work done this fall and I want it with sedation. I’ve heard that most insurance companies won’t pay for the sedation. How much does the sedation cost? – Simone

Simone – There are different types of sedation dentistry or comfort dentistry. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, odorless gas that you breathe in during treatment to help you relax.

Oral conscious sedation, the next level of sedation, involves taking a mild sedative in pill form. You will rest comfortably during treatment and you are unlikely to remember what happened during your appointment. Sedation medication can also be administered intravenously.

The cost of sedation depends, in part, on where in the U.S. the dentist is located, the type of sedation you receive, and the length of time it is needed for your dental procedure.

It is best to contact your dentist to find out the type of sedation used and an approximate cost. Contact your insurance provider to find out if any benefits for sedation dentistry are provided. If you will have out-of-pocket costs for sedation, your dentist may be able to make it affordable for you.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

I need cavities filled, but I’m afraid of the dentist

I have 3 cavities that need to be filled. I have avoided making the appointment to get the work done because I hate going to the dentist. What is the process for filling the cavities? Is a needle involved? Thanks. Cherise

Cherise – Before your cavities are filled, your teeth and gums are numbed to prevent you from experiencing pain during the procedure. But a topical anesthetic will be applied to prevent you from feeling the pain of the injection.

When your teeth and gums are numb, the decay in the tooth is removed. Your tooth will be rinsed to remove any debris around it. The tooth will be prepared and filling will be placed in it. You can get tooth-colored fillings that blend in naturally with your teeth. The numbness in your mouth will gradually diminish within several hours after the appointment.

If you are particularly anxious, you can find a dentist who provides sedation dentistry for anxious patients. Sedation dentistry relaxes you so that you can have a productive dental appointment.

This post is sponsored by Plano dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.