Does the idea of going to the dentist make you cringe? Do you head to the grocery store to stock up on soft foods to eat after your visit when your teeth are too sore to chew?
It’s time to talk to your dentist about the latest tools and techniques to minimize pain in the dentist’s chair, including:
Lasers For dental work beyond cleaning, lasers are now a time tested technology that can be far more comfortable than traditional surgical methods. Instead of using scalpels, lasers can often be used for many soft tissue procedures — like gum surgery — and patients experience far less discomfort.
New Anesthetics with different delivery methods In the old days, local anesthetics could only be administered one way and that’s the way none of us like…a needle. Needles are not going to go away anytime soon and they will have a place for the foreseeable future, however, there is now a completely different way to administer local anesthetics. The method is called STA which stands for “Single Tooth Anesthesia” and it involves placing a probe painlessly just at the gumline of the tooth and allowing a computerized sensor to tell the dentist when the tooth is sufficiently numb enough for work. This method is particularly nice for lower teeth because we can now numb a single tooth instead of an injection that makes you feel like half of your face is numb. Improved topical anesthetics as well as nitrous oxide (laughing gas) are also options that we will expand upon in future blog postings.
Sedation Dentistry For those who avoid going to the dentist altogether or have a panic attack just thinking about it, sedation dentistry may be the answer for you. A board certified medical anesthesiologist will deliver an intravenous (IV) anesthetic directly into your bloodstream, placing you in a semi-conscious state for the duration of treatment. If you do choose this option, you must have someone to drive you home after the visit, as the anesthetic effects may last for six to eight hours following administration.
Beyond all these new technologies, however, trust is still the major factor in the equation and there is no substitute or technology to replace a good dentist/patient relationship. As in any good relationship, honesty is the best policy and you should never feel any fear or embarrassment to ask us any questions or make any comments on any proposed treatments that you are contemplating.
We all take a lot of pride in what we like to call “being there” for our patients and that means caring about the whole patient as a person and not just their teeth. Please call today to set up an appointment or send us an e-mail with any comments or questions you may have.