Tag Archives: Bellevue Dentist

Nitrous Oxide Sedation in Bellevue Dentistry

Approaching the Anxious and Fearful Patient

Nitrous oxide has been proven an effective and safe anesthetic used in hospital based procedures but more popular in dental practise. Administered by inhalation, this odorless, tasteless gas has analgesic, anxiolytic, and amnestic properties. It can be considered the right approach for the anxious dental patient.

With various methods and levels of sedation available, nitrous oxide use is a form of conscious sedation. The patient does not fall asleep and can still talk with the dental staff , though he might not remember everything about the procedure done to him.

Some dentists administer IV or IM sedation for deep sedation in which highly fearful patients will benefit in order to have dental work completed. Relaxed patients are less likely to gag or move during procedures. It also becomes easier for the dentist to work.

Nitrous oxide affects the brain by blocking pain-signaling neurons. It also increases the activity of GABA receptors, which leads to decreased anxiety. Also, patients feel content and even euphoric with release of dopamine, a nitrous oxide effect.

However, nitrous oxide effects differ from patient to patient. Some patients feel giddy and even laugh. Others feel relaxed and light-headed. Some patients’ arms and legs feel heavy while others experience tingling in their arms and legs.

The gas is used during basic dental procedures such as dental fillings, occasionally used for routine cleanings for patients with severe dental anxiety. Nitrous oxide isn’t as strong as other sedatives; though not for major surgeries, it is used in hospital settings. It can be initially given to patients in preparation for heavier sedation. It is especially helpful for children and those patients with special needs. Well tolerated, it does not cause allergic reactions and does not have any lingering effects.

There are a few situations contraindicated for nitrous oxide sedation, such as pregnant women in the first trimester, COPD patients and those with upper respiratory tract infections, those with middle ear issues, those with psychological disturbances, and current or recovering drug addicts.

Nitrous oxide is a proven an asset to a dental office. With right usage and precautions, right administration, appropriate candidates and proper consent, it can be considered indispensable in dental practice.

Anxious and Fearful No More in Bellevue

Nitrous oxide can be safely used in both children and adults here at Overlake Dental. If you have such anxieties, you need not worry. Your procedure will be as safe, smooth and anxiety-free. Only in Bellevue.

Fluoride is Also for Adults | Bellevue Dentist

The Adult Side of Fluoride Benefits

We’ve known always about fluoride’s benefits. Fluoride is the agent that strengthens young developing teeth by fighting decay-causing bacteria and, hence, is mainly for children’s benefit. New research, however, uncovered that topical application of fluoride can fight tooth decay in people of all ages – from children to adults.

If your drinking water is fluoridated, then brushing regularly with fluoride toothpaste is sufficient for most adults with healthy teeth. However, some people with certain conditions may be at increased risk of tooth decay, so additional fluoride treatment can be beneficial.

These adults should have fluoride treatments: Those who suffer from Dry Mouth Syndrome, a condition caused by certain diseases, certain medications (such as allergy medications, antihistamines, antianxiety drugs, and high blood pressure drugs), and those who’ve had head and neck radiation. Their dry mouths, resulting from lack of saliva, make them prone to tooth decay.

Those who have gingivitis and its more severe form, periodontitis, carry the increased risk of attracting bacteria to exposed root surfaces leading to tooth decay. In periodontitis, gums tend to recede and expose the gum line or may create pockets for lodging of bacteria. These situations need fluoride treatments to decrease the chances of attacks and decay.

Those who wear crowns, bridges, or braces create small hiding places where food debris can lodge and form cavities. The appliances also make it harder to keep teeth always clean even with brushing. These adults need regular fluoride exposures.

Fluoride forms are available as fluoride toothpaste and mouth rinses. While over-the-counter products have weaker fluoride content, a dentist’s prescription can get you a stronger one. You can also apply fluoride to the teeth as a gel, foam, or varnish. Your dentist should know just what form is suitable to your needs and just how strong it needs to be for you.

Fluoride for Everyone in Bellevue

Ask your Bellevue dentist about fluoride treatments if you have these conditions – dry mouth, gum disease or are wearing crowns and other dental appliances. You might be just a another regular guy without these setbacks, but you can still benefit from fluoride experience.

The Drill Versus the Laser in Bellevue

Traditional and Technology: To Each Its Own

Tooth decay is the most prevalent health hazard in the world today, affecting all age ranges without regard for socio-demographic barriers. As such, it should translate to as many dental visits and treatments provided by the concerned health providers.

Unfortunately, majority of affected people do not readily seek dental treatment at first instance or go for regular check-ups, or be at least compliant to instructions. And, hence, the prevalence of the condition.

Perhaps one reason for the lapses is a painful or unsettling experience with the dental drill, a very common phobia. The purpose of this electronic device is to remove decay from affected teeth; when in use it makes a high-pitch noise and patients feel its vibrations as well. Nonetheless, drills are still the most inexpensive way to remove tooth decay and many dentists consider them essential to their armamentarium.

The dental laser has been considered as alternative to the drill. FDA-approved and ADA-endorsed with seal of approval, the laser is accepted as a safe technology. Using amplified light as the form of energy, the laser can cut through teeth and tissue. The light is adjusted at different wavelengths for different applications, such as when removing tooth decay, as whitening enhancement, when cutting bone, or detecting cavities. In practice, most dentists use lasers only for tooth decay, lesion removal, and gum problems like for reshaping and re-contouring gum tissue.

What are the advantages of dental lasers? No pain is associated with lasers, in fact, no anesthesia is necessary. Target areas are pinpointed excluding surrounding areas. They don’t cause vibrations, while bleaching and swelling are greatly reduced, hence, more comfortable for patients.

However, laser dentistry is not for all dental situations, such as very large cavities, cavities with previous fillings, and is not used for shaping or polishing fillings.

In Pursuit of Patient Safety and Comfort in Bellevue

Over at Overlake Dental, we do a lot of laser dentistry where indicated. In the hands of our expert professional, lasers are precise and safe instruments. Consult with us about lasers and its many applications, not just with tooth decay.

Do Wide Gaps Bring On Tooth Decay?

Teeth Gap

teeth-gapAre any of your teeth further apart than your others? Some people are concerned that having a wide gap between your teeth might make them more susceptible to tooth decay and similar problems. If this is a concern for you, our Bellevue dentist office has everything you need to know.

The good news is that a wide gap between two teeth does not make it more likely that you will experience tooth decay. In fact, since it is easier to clean between two teeth that are a little further apart than normal, you may actually be less likely to get a cavity on the side of your tooth. It is when two teeth are particularly close together that you may have a problem, as it can be difficult to get floss in far enough to properly clean between your teeth.

Your real concern should be about the strength of your teeth. When some of your teeth have wider gaps between them than others, at least some of your teeth are probably crooked. This means that your bite is weaker, and you may be in need of braces or similar corrective dental work.

Call our Bellevue dentist, Dr. Lee, if you have any questions or want a consultation for further professional dental advice.

Olympians Don’t Have Better Oral Health

Why Olympic Athletes Have More Tooth Decay

Consider Olympic athletes, the superhuman representatives of the sports world, who must have better access to huge health support systems, are actually faring no better than the average American adult in dental care. Many Olympic players have poor oral health. Why so?

A case in point is the 2012 London Olympics, where three-quarters of the athletes have gingivitis. A study was conducted and reported on the impact of of an athlete’s risk factors on his oral health; the results are amazing. A good 30% of athletes had taken facial blows, such as blows to the mouth or jaw. These can result to broken, chipped or cracked teeth, gum and tongue injuries and cracked or dislocated jaws. They are acquired at practice training or during the actual games and dental attention may be nil or not as comprehensive because of the immediate need to compete. Continue reading