Dental Sedation: Tips for Having the Most Comfortable Dental Experience

Do you feel anxiety and stress about visiting the dentist? It’s normal for people to be uncomfortable during dental appointments, especially when treatments or major dental work is being done. If you have difficulty sitting still during these treatments, you might consider the benefits of dental sedation.

Not only is dental sedation helpful for patients with anxiety, but it can also be a good option for young children or anyone who wants to improve their comfort during the appointment. Dental sedation is a way to help you relax and stay calm in the dental chair, with different types of medication and various levels of sedation.

The Different Types of Dental Sedation

There are three common types of dental sedation used in the industry, depending on the dentist you visit and the type of treatment being performed.

1. Laughing Gas (Nitrous Oxide)

This is the lightest form of dental sedation and can be used on both adults and children. With laughing gas, you stay away during the treatment. You’ll wear a mask that releases gas into your body when you breathe. The laughing gas helps you relax.

It only takes a few minutes for laughing gas to set in. Then the dentist will begin the appointment when you are relaxed. Also, laughing gas tends to wear off quickly, which means that you can go back to work after the treatment.

Since laughing gas is a light form of sedation, it carries a much lower risk compared to other types of dental sedation. If you experience any side effects (which is rare), these side effects usually go away when the mask is removed. Laughing gas can be used for everything from routine teeth cleanings to fillings or root canal treatments.

2. Oral Sedation

Another type of dental sedation is known as oral sedation. The dentist will give you a prescription for a prescription pill that needs to be swallowed before your appointment. You will need someone who can drive you to and from the dental treatment since you will be drowsy from this medication.

Usually, the medication is strong enough to make you fall asleep. But you are sleeping light enough that we can wake you up if needed. You’ll need to plan to take the rest of the day off from work or school to give the medication time to wear off.

3. IV Sedation

The final type of sedation involves an IV placement in your arm, with medication that flows into your bloodstream. This type of dental sedation causes you to sleep through the entire treatment. The medical team has the ability to change the level of sedation during the appointment. This type of sedation is common for routine procedures, such as wisdom tooth extraction.

You will definitely feel drowsy as you wake up. As with oral sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home from the appointment, and you should plan on taking the rest of the day off for recovery.

6 Benefits of Dental Sedation

Is dental sedation right for you? Here are some of the benefits you can enjoy from this service:

  1. Stop Delaying Dental Treatments: If you have a phobia about visiting the dentist, then it might cause you to live with an unbearable toothache or other dental issues. The problem with delaying treatment is that the problems can get worse and even cause complications requiring more invasive treatments. Instead of suffering from dental pain, sedation is a strategy that you can use to manage this phobia and complete the treatments as soon as possible.
  2. Calm Your Anxiety: Sometimes, patients have a hard time sitting still in the dental chair because their anxiety levels are so high. If you feel nervous, then dental sedation is a way that you can calm your nerves enough to get through the treatment.
  3. Better Dental Care: In some cases, dental sedation allows the dentist to complete the treatment more quickly and effectively. The sedation relaxes the patient, which helps minimize movement while the dentist works. As a result, the work can be done with precision and without worrying about interference from the patient.
  4. Unique Situations: There are different circumstances when dental sedation is highly recommended because of the patient’s condition. For example, young children needing a lot of dental work, patients with special needs, or patients with mental health conditions.
  5. Minimize Gag Reflexes: One of the things that can get in the way during dental treatment is the way a person gags because of sensitive reflexes. Consider asking about sedation if you tend to gag with the dental tools in your mouth. The sedation’s relaxing effect helps reduce your nerves, decreasing the gag reflex sensitivity.
  6. Multiple Treatments: When multiple dental treatments are required, it can be helpful to use dental sedation, so you stay in the dental chair longer. As a result, you can complete everything at once instead of coming back to the dental office for different appointments.

Is Dental Sedation Right for You?

Every patient is unique, which is why there isn’t a cookie-cutter treatment plan for each person. The best thing you can do is talk to your dentist about different treatment options to identify the ideal solutions for your unique needs.

If you are considering dental sedation, the dentist will ask questions about your medical history and any other conditions that could increase the risk of complications. As the patient, it’s important that you understand all the risks and provide the most accurate information to help the dentist select the right treatment for you.

Dental sedation is one of the many ways you can feel more comfortable in a dental chair. If you have questions about sedation or other treatments, feel free to talk to our team for more information.

We invite you to contact us at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas if you would like to schedule a routine exam or discuss available treatments.

When a Dental Crown Is the Best Solution

Modern dental technology makes it possible to save the overall structure of a tooth, even when the tooth has been seriously damaged. If you need to restore a tooth after an injury or cavity, then a dental crown might be the recommended treatment from your dentist.

How do you know if a dental crown is the right treatment for your needs? The best thing you can do is talk to your dentist about available treatment options. When tooth extraction is the only other alternative, then a crown might be your last chance to save the remaining portion of the tooth.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry for Las Colinas, we offer full-service dental solutions for the whole family. So whether it’s time for a checkup or you need a major restoration (like a dental crown), we are always here to help. Call us any time to learn more about available services.

Here are a few signs that you might benefit from a dental crown:

Strengthen a Root Canal Tooth

Most dentists recommend a dental crown after a root canal treatment is done. The tooth is hollowed out during the root canal to remove the nerves, blood supply, and infected tissue within the tooth. This process saves the tooth from extraction but weakens the remaining portion of the tooth.

After the dentist fills the inner portion of the tooth, it’s likely that a dental crown will be necessary to strengthen and extend the lifespan of the tooth. At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, our team can often provide both the root canal and dental crown services in the same appointment for your convenience.

Damage to the Tooth

Was your tooth injured by trauma? Whether you were hit during a sports game or fell and knocked it on the furniture, a dental crown can be a way to restore both the function and aesthetics of the damaged tooth. However, just because you are in an accident doesn’t mean that you need to live with a flawed smile in the future.

Often, these injuries result in pain, discomfort, and embarrassment. A same-day dental crown can restore your smile immediately, so you can eat and talk like normal. These crowns are personalized to match the unique color and shape of your natural teeth. No one will notice that you had dental work to repair the injured tooth.

Extensive Tooth Decay

When a small cavity is left untreated, the decay can spread to other parts of the tooth. Most people will inevitably experience tooth decay, and usually, early interventions stop the decay from spreading. But, in cases where the cavity has progressed, the dentist might need to drill away a large portion of the tooth.

The best way to save a tooth in this situation is to cap the tooth with a dental crown instead of using a basic filling. A general rule of thumb is that a crown should be placed if more than half of the tooth is missing because of the drilling to remove the decay.

The good news is that a dental crown isn’t susceptible to tooth decay. But the remaining parts of the tooth can still get cavities, which is why it’s important to maintain regular brushing and flossing habits at all times.

Smile Upgrade

While a dental crown usually aims to save a tooth and protect the function in your mouth, this treatment can also be beneficial for cosmetic purposes. For example, a tooth that is uneven, misshapen, chipped, or unsightly can be improved by placing a dental crown over the exterior of the tooth.

Our goal is to preserve as much of the natural tooth as possible during this process. We offer dental crowns, as well as other cosmetic services you might consider, such as dental bonding or veneers. We’ll talk to you about your smile goals then determine the optimal treatment for your smile makeover.

Dental Implants

If you need one or more implants placed in your mouth for tooth restoration, then the implants are often paired with dental crowns. For example, the implant is secured in your jaw. Then an abutment holds a crown in place on the top of the implant.

You can’t see the implant since it’s below the gumline. Likewise, the dental crown is the only visible part of the restoration since it sits above the gumline.

CEREC: Same Day Crowns for Your Convenience

One of the benefits of choosing our dental team is that we’ve invested in quality dental technology to improve your comfort and results. CEREC is a modern system that fabricates customized porcelain dental crowns while you are in the office.

In the past, patients required multiple visits to complete dental crowns. The first appointment prepared the tooth, and the dentist took a mold or scan of the tooth to send to the lab. Next, patients go home with a temporary crown. Then, the lab returns the permanent crown, and the patient must go back to the dental office for placement and bonding.

CEREC saves you time since you can complete the dental crown in one appointment. There’s no need for repeat visits or to spend unnecessary time in the dental chair.

Is a Dental Crown Right for You?

As you can see, there are many benefits to investing in a dental crown treatment. But this service isn’t the right solution for every patient. The best thing you can do is schedule a consultation to talk to our dental team about available treatment options.

We provide a personalized approach for every patient, helping you achieve a beautiful, functional smile. Dental crowns are one of the many services available. Also, you can learn about other dental restorations, such as fillings, bridges, implants, dentures, and more.

Schedule a cleaning and checkup with our experienced team. We invite you to contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas to see how we can help you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile that boosts your confidence.

Is It Safe to Go to the Dentist During COVID-19 Surges?

Communities around the world are feeling worried about the increasing COVID-19 cases as new variants are spreading. Every family must ask important questions to protect their loved ones, such as, is it safe to send my children to school? How can we minimize exposure in the workplace? Should we go to the dentist during COVID-19?

At this point, the goal is to find the right balance between protecting our families while also continuing to live our lives. So rest assured that even though the pandemic is ongoing, you can safely visit the doctor or dentist during COVID-19.

In fact, many people delayed their medical care last year because of the pandemic. Now that we are experiencing another wave of the virus, it doesn’t make sense to continue putting off essential healthcare services. COVID-19 doesn’t eliminate your need for checkups and health services. If it’s time for a dental cleaning and exam, then don’t delay scheduling an appointment.

Regular Dental Care to Protect Overall Health

Caring for your dental health is essential to protect your overall health as well. Not only should people of all ages be practicing good oral hygiene habits at home, but it’s also wise to be proactive about regular dental cleanings and addressing any dental problems that arise.

Good dental health starts with regular checkups. We offer full-service solutions to evaluate your dental health when you visit our office, including a visual exam, x-rays, and more.

Is it Safe to Go to the Dentist During COVID-19?

Even though the pandemic continues to be a concern, rest assured to know that it’s still safe to go to the dentist. According to the American Dental Association, COVID-19 rates among dentists have been low.

Initially, dentistry was thought to be a high-risk profession since the virus spreads through air particles. Patients can’t be masked during their dental appointments. Additionally, spraying water could potentially contribute to the spread of the virus through the air.

The good news is that modern dental offices have strategic practices in place to avoid spreading disease between staff and patients. Our dental office is following all recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as the American Dental Association.

Through these steps, we are keeping patients and staff members as safe as possible. Safety measures include:

  • Mask wearing
  • Additional protective gear for staff members
  • Proper hand hygiene
  • Disinfecting services and tools more frequently
  • Replacing, cleaning, and covering tools between uses
  • Using dental dams and other tools to protect patient’s mouths during the appointments
  • Spacing out appointments
  • Health questionnaires before appointments
  • Limiting the number of people in the office
  • Minimizing everyday items people touch in the office, such as magazines and toys

Additionally, we are proactive about helping patients avoid unnecessary contact with others in the office. For example, you can wait outside until your dental chair is ready, minimizing the need to remain in the waiting room before you go back to the patient services area.

Dental Care: Start of the Pandemic vs. Now

At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, dental offices and other businesses shut down for the safety of the public. Everyone was asked to stay home to help flatten the curve.

At the time, routine dental appointments were not happing. But dentists were still able to offer emergency services on an as-needed basis. At the time, the American Dental Association listed dental issues that are emergencies, such as:

  • Dental pain
  • Uncontrolled bleeding
  • Tissue needing a biopsy
  • Broken teeth
  • Swelling in the mouth, gums, face, or neck
  • Pain and swelling (signs of infection)
  • Post-surgery care requiring dental assistance
  • Broken or lost crown
  • Trauma affecting the teeth or mouth
  • Pain from braces wires
  • Denture problems

During the initial weeks and months of the pandemic, routine care and cosmetic services were unavailable.

Now dental offices are open for business and back to regular routines. As mentioned above, we’ve increased our sanitation, and we are taking a proactive stance to protect patients as much as possible.

Are you overdue on your cleaning and exam because you were waiting for the pandemic to end? Or maybe you just haven’t made it a priority to schedule your dental cleaning this year. Either way, it’s a great time to book an appointment now that our office is back to business as usual.

Flexible Appointment Scheduling

If you have an appointment scheduled and are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, then we invite you to call us to reschedule your appointment. We’ll gladly accommodate your scheduling needs and encourage you to rest at home. You’re welcome to come back to our office when you are feeling well again.

Another reason you should reschedule your appointment is if you have recently been in contact with someone who has COVID-19. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, it’s possible to be an asymptomatic carrier. So, most people choose to get tested or wait before coming in contact with other people.

Also, our office is proactive about checking symptoms through health questionnaires. We ask patients and staff members about how they are feeling to see if anyone should be out of the office for the day.

When to Visit the Dentist

If you need to see a dentist, don’t ignore the problems you are experiencing. In many situations, timely treatments ensure optimal results in the long term. For example, healthy teeth don’t have issues such as infections or pain. If these symptoms are occurring, then you should talk to an emergency dentist as soon as possible.

Additionally, it’s a good idea to be proactive about regular dental checkups and exams.

Yes, it is safe to go to the dentist during COVID-19. Dentists have always been practicing infectious disease control. As a result, we are continuing to offer our patients a safe environment for dental services. If you would like to learn more about our safety practices, then feel free to reach out to our office staff any time.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we are committed to helping you maintain the highest levels of health for the whole family. Call today to schedule an appointment so you can stay proactive about maintaining a healthy, beautiful smile.

Tooth Pain? Why You Should Visit a Dentist Right Away

Tooth pain can come out of nowhere, but it’s often impossible to think of anything else once it hits. Even if the pain is dull, it is good to investigate the cause if it doesn’t resolve right away. Tooth pain is an area where denial is not your friend! It tends to worsen over time and can be highly dilapidating and dangerous for your health when left unchecked.

To understand tooth pain, let’s take a quick look at your teeth structure. The enamel is the most external layer of each tooth. The purpose of this layer is to protect the inside layers of the teeth from infectious diseases. It also serves as a buffer to the nerve sensitivity of the teeth. Things like cold and hot temperatures are typically not going to trigger a sensitivity reaction in teeth with healthy enamel. The enamel covers the visible part of the tooth (called the crown). The gums provide this protection to the lower portions of the tooth (called the neck and root).

The next inner layer of the tooth is the dentin, followed by the innermost layer, the pulp. Finally, at the pulp region of the tooth are the actual nerves and blood vessels that nourish each tooth. Trouble occurs when the weakened enamel that covers the visible part of the teeth exposes the dentin. If left unchecked, it spreads to the pulp layer of the tooth. Disease and weakening of the gums can also result in the exposure of these deeper tooth layers resulting in tooth decay or infection and pain.

Does All Tooth Pain Need a Dental Appointment?

There may be different causes of tooth pain. Knowing what could be causing it may help you see if you need the care of a dentist or a doctor. While you could resolve some issues with a simple change in your daily routine, this doesn’t work for all problems. Think of tooth pain as being divided into two camps: Those that are dental in nature and those that are non-dental.

Dental causes of pain could include:

  • Gum Issues: Gum disease, such as periodontal disease, is the most common type of bacterial infection of the gums. It is caused by plaque buildup on the teeth. It results in swollen, red, and painful gums. If left untreated, it can cause the gums to weaken and recede, which leaves the teeth exposed to further damage.
  • Decay: If bacteria get in contact with the tooth for enough time, it can cause tooth decay. A cavity is usually not painful unless you don’t catch and treat it early on. It could be excruciatingly painful if a cavity progresses deeper into the tooth to the pulp layer and extends into the root.
  • Damage: Chipped, cracked, or broken teeth can occur in a wide variety of ways. If you sustain damage to a tooth, the protective layer of enamel will not be fully functional. Sharp edges could also cut cheeks and gums, leaving infection exposure as well.
  • Malocclusion: This has to do with the way your teeth are aligned. An uneven alignment of your bite can be a cause for soreness in the jaw and/or the teeth.

Non-dental causes of tooth pain might be:

  • Sore Muscles: The muscles of the face and jaw, particularly those used for chewing, could become sore with overuse. It can be challenging to identify this cause sometimes, but you may mistake it for tooth pain in some cases.
  • Sinus Infections: You have two sinuses towards the back of the mouth. If infected and fluid-filled, the resulting pressure could be a significant source of discomfort that may feel like a toothache.
  • Headaches: Some associate cluster headaches with tooth pain, though the cause of this correlation is not readily apparent.
  • Vitamin B12 Levels: There seems to be a connection between deficient levels of vitamin B12 and toothache.
  • Neurological Disorders: Some nerve conditions can cause sharp, aggressive pains in the mouth that some could interpret as tooth pain.

Common Symptoms We Call Tooth Pain:

  • Sensitivity: If cold or hot foods and drinks are causing nerve sensitivity for a brief moment, there is likely nothing to worry about. If the sensitivity seems to be new or worsening, it could be a sign that the pulp layer of your tooth is exposed in some way. If sensitive episodes last more than 30 seconds, seek an appointment with your dentist.
  • Painful Bite: When chewing and biting down on your food and you feel direct shooting pain, this can be an indication of a crack or other potentially significant issue within the tooth. A filling that is coming loose could also cause this symptom. Don’t wait. Call for an appointment to get a thorough analysis of your symptoms.
  • Inflamed Gums: A “hot spot” of red, swollen, localized pain in the gums could be an indication of an infectious abscess. This needs immediate care. Overall swollen, red gums could indicate gum disease, so don’t wait on getting to the dentist for that either.
  • Dull Pain: Aching, dull but persistent pain that radiates through more than one tooth could lead to a diagnosis of bruxism.

Treatment Brings Relief

Depending on the symptoms at play and the causes of your tooth pain, your dentist will recommend a treatment that will resolve your issue as quickly as possible. Getting the proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment should make you feel better right away. They can fill cavities. They can administer to root canals. They can institute protocols for gum disease,c and you can see results over time. The dentist can seal or mend chipped, cracked, or broken teeth. If the damage is too extensive, extraction can be a solution with an implanted tooth replacing it in time.

There are many ways your dentist can help you resolve tooth pain and get you back to your regular routine. If your pain lasts for more than a day or two, reach out for help. For more information, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas today.

10 Tips for Recovery After Wisdom Teeth Removal

Wisdom teeth removal is a standard procedure, with an estimated five million people in the United States undergoing this treatment each year. Why is it a necessity to remove these third molars? And what should you expect during your recovery?

Why Do We Remove the Wisdom Teeth?

Most people don’t have enough room in their mouth for the third molars to grow in properly. These back teeth, known as the wisdom teeth, can cause severe problems and complications. Removing the wisdom teeth is an effective way to avoid some of these most common issues, such as:

  • Improper Positioning: When the wisdom teeth erupt through the gums, unusual angles can put unnecessary pressure on nearby teeth. Sometimes these teeth are positioned horizontally, which means they won’t come up straight through the gums.
  • Impacted Molars: If there isn’t enough room for the teeth to come through, then they remain inside the gums. This impaction can lead to the development of infection: chronic infection damages the bone, nearby teeth, and gums.
  • Risk for Decay: It’s difficult to brush and floss when the teeth are crowded or only partially emerged through the gums. If you can’t clean the teeth properly, then the risk of oral infection, gum disease, and tooth decay increases.
  • Moving Other Teeth: The molars will put pressure on other teeth to make room to grow. This crowding causes a domino effect that pushes other teeth out of alignment. As a result, it can cause damage to other teeth and your bite changes.

Wisdom tooth removal isn’t necessary for every patient. Talk to your dentist to see if you need to remove these teeth.

Optimal Timing for Wisdom Teeth Removal

Recovery after wisdom teeth removal is more difficult in older adults. Most dentists recommend extraction of these third molars before the teeth emerge fully.

It’s common for older teens and younger adults to undergo wisdom teeth removal. At this point, the roots and bone are still forming. Not only is it easier for the dentist to remove the teeth in these early stages, but it reduces the risk of other complications.

Your dentist might suggest wisdom teeth removal if you are experiencing any of these issues:

  • Infections in the soft tissue near the back molars
  • Pain
  • Tumors
  • Cysts
  • Gum disease
  • Tooth decay
  • Damage to the nearby teeth
  • Incorrect positioning (as seen by x-ray)

After Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What to Expect

You’ll need to plan time for recovery after your appointment. It’s a minimally invasive treatment, but you will experience swelling, pain, discomfort, and bleeding in the first few days after the extraction. Here is an overview of some of the most common things patients experience immediately after this dental surgery:

  • Bleeding Gums: Follow the dentist’s recommendations to bite on gauze for bleeding control in the first few hours. Blood clots should form within the first day, and the bleeding will subside.
  • Pain: You won’t feel a lot of pain immediately after the treatment because of the local anesthetic. As the numbing agent starts to wear off, you will notice pain at the extraction site in the jaw joint and the nearby tissues.
  • Swelling: The body is working to heal the injury, so it’s common to experience inflammation in the area. Some people find that their cheeks swell up for a few days after the extraction.

10 Tips for Faster Healing After Wisdom Teeth Removal

If you want to speed up your healing, you must be proactive about following the recommendations from your dentist. You’ll heal faster by following these tips:

  1. Gauze Pad: During the first few hours, gently bite down on a gauze pad. This gauze helps to stop the bleeding and encourages the body to form blood clots more quickly.
  2. Ice: Use ice packs on the outside of the cheek for 15 to 20 minutes at a time. Ice reduces swelling, helps with pain management, and eases the bruising. Protect your skin by placing a cloth or towel over the ice pack.
  3. Cleaning: Gently brush your teeth, but avoid disturbing the extraction site with your toothbrush. On the day after the surgery, use warm salt water to swish gently.
  4. Pain Medication: Most patients use over-the-counter pain medications, such as ibuprofen. Or, you might need a prescription, depending on your pain tolerance.
  5. Antibiotics: One potential complication is the development of an infection. The use of preventive antibiotics can help to avoid infection. If your doctor recommends antibiotics, then be sure to follow the entire prescribed dosage even if the area is starting to heal.
  6. Soft Diet: Eating soft foods reduces the disruption to your wounds. Stick with easy-to-chew things, such as broth, soup, mashed potatoes, smoothies, Jell-O, and applesauce.
  7. No Straws: Dr.inking through a straw can put pressure on the new blood clots. Dr.ink straight from the glass instead of using a straw.
  8. Take it Easy: Most people need a few days to recover, so plan a lighter schedule after the procedure. Rest helps your body to heal faster. Avoid exercise or strenuous activities for 3 – 5 days after the surgery.
  9. Avoid Alcohol: Skip alcoholic beverages for at least 48 hours after wisdom teeth removal. Ideally, you shouldn’t drink for a week after the treatment.
  10. Don’t Smoke: The chemicals in cigarette smoke can irritate your wounds. Avoid both tobacco smoke and electronic cigarettes during your recovery.

Always follow the recommendations from your dentist. These recovery tips might seem simple, but they can make a big difference to speed up your healing time. Additionally, proper care and rest during recovery help you avoid the risk of complications after wisdom teeth removal.

Do you need a tooth extraction? If you still have your wisdom teeth, talk to our team for personalized recommendations for your treatment plan. We provide full-service solutions for the whole family, including both general dentistry and cosmetic treatments.

For more information, call Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas to schedule a dental exam and consultation.

Sedation in Dentistry

Sedation Can Ease Dental Anxiety

Going to the dentist is one of the most important things you can do to maintain your oral health. However, thanks to movies and T.V., people have a general fear of the dentist. They believe that going to the dentist will be a painful experience, even if they’re going to get their teeth cleaned. People often deal with dental anxiety, which keeps them from the dentist entirely.

If you let this anxiety and fear control you, your teeth won’t get the proper treatment they need. Visiting your dentist for a routine exam is the best way to catch any dental issues before they become worse. However, how can someone receive treatment if they’re too anxious about going to the dentist?

Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas understands that going to the dentist and receiving oral health treatments can be a stressful and anxiety-inducing experience. That is why we believe in providing options to our patients that help them feel more comfortable and at ease. Sedation in dentistry is an excellent way to ease your dental anxieties, allowing you to receive the treatment you need.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we value the importance of seeing the dentist. However, we also understand many people have worries and fears when it comes to receiving dental treatment. That is why we offer sedation to ease patients’ anxieties. We also understand the concerns surrounding sedation. Give our clinic a call today, and we’ll be more than happy to answer your questions.

What is Sedation?

As we mentioned earlier, many patients have dental anxiety. Often, this anxiety keeps patients from even stepping foot into a clinic. Sedation dentistry involves the use of medication to help relax patients undergoing dental procedures. While people often think of sedation during major procedures (such as getting veneers and root canals), it is even used for simple dental cleanings.

Many people refer to sedation as “sleep dentistry,” but that is not entirely true. While in many procedures, dentists use sedation to put patients under (such as wisdom teeth removal), but some patients’ anxiety is so bad that they need sedation to help them relax and feel more comfortable receiving treatment.

While people only think of sedation in dentistry for invasive procedures, it is an excellent tool to help patients overcome their dental anxiety. However, as we’ve hinted at, there are different levels of sedation.

Levels of Sedation

Different scenarios call for different levels of sedation. You don’t need to be asleep for a simple dental cleaning, and you certainly shouldn’t be awake for a tooth extraction. There are different levels of sedation that each have a place in dental treatment.

  • Minimal: you are awake but in a relaxed state
  • Moderate: you are awake, but the sedation is strong (often referred to as conscious sedation); you may slur your words, be drowsy, and might not remember much of the procedure
  • Deep: you are on the edge of consciousness, but someone can still wake you
  • General Anesthesia: complete unconsciousness

Each patient is different. Their bodies respond to certain medications differently. Fortunately, at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas, we take everything into consideration when applying sedation dentistry, from medical history to body weight. Our team has years of experience and knowledge to safely administer the correct level of sedation to keep our patients safe.

Types of Sedation in Dentistry 

Everyone’s body works differently and reacts to medications differently. Because every patient is different, we do not believe in one solution to sedation. Our top priority is the health and safety of our patients. We always take a thorough look at their medical history, vitals, and much more to ensure our patients are safe.

To ensure that we can treat every patient, our Dallas clinic offers more than one dental sedation service. Some of which include:

  • Nitrous Oxide: Also referred to as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is probably the most well-known type of sedation in dentistry. Patients will inhale nitrous oxide combined with oxygen through a mask or an inhaler in the nose. This gas calms your body, allowing you to relax. It also wears off quickly and is the only type of sedation where you can drive home after.
  • Oral Sedatives: Outside of nitrous oxide, our dental clinic also offers oral sedatives. Depending on the dose you are given, the effects can range from minor to moderate, often making you feel drowsy. This sedation can come in the form of a pill or general anesthesia, depending on the need. Much like nitrous oxide, it will also provide you with relaxing benefits.
  • IV Sedatives: Another option is through intravenous (IV) sedatives. It involves applying sedatives directly into the veins. This sedation will be able to provide you with a calming effect and make you feel more comfortable. IV sedation is often referred to as “twilight sedation.” You are less aware of your surroundings, feel drowsy, and might not remember much of the procedure. In some cases, your dentist might use it to put you in a deep sleep.

How Safe is Sedation in Dentistry?

As with all forms of medication, there are risks of sedation in dentistry. Because of the nature of the method, it can lead to disastrous results if the one administering the anesthesia or sedatives does not possess adequate training and qualifications. Fortunately, the dental health professionals at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas do.

However, there are risks and side effects with sedation, such as:

  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Dr.owsiness
  • Impaired motor skills
  • Slow reflexes
  • Minor memory loss
  • Headaches

These are minor side effects that will quickly go away. Sedation in dentistry is a safe option for people with a low pain threshold, sensitive teeth, strong gag reflexes, need extensive dental work, or have dental anxiety.

To ensure your safety, a trained and qualified professional will review your medical history, looking for any risk factors (such as obesity or obstructive sleep apnea). They will also ask what medications you are taking to help them determine if you are a candidate for sedation.

Your dentist should also inform you of the dose you are receiving, as well as going over any side effects and risks you might experience. Do not be afraid to ask questions. Your safety is our highest priority. If you are interested in sedation in dentistry and have questions, give Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas a call today, and we will be happy to answer them.

National Dentist’s Day – March 6th

Take Some Time to Celebrate Your Dentist!

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you! It is one of the focal points of your face. A wide, bright smile can be a welcoming and comforting sight for almost anyone. Your smile is not only important to you but to your dentist, as well. They dedicate their lives to ensuring your smile is the smile you’ve always dreamt of, whether that be through teeth whitening and full smile makeovers or something as simple as a dental cleaning. Your dentist works diligently to provide you with a smile you can be proud of. With nearly 200,000 working dentists in the U.S., these hardworking individuals should be celebrated!

That is why on March 6th, every year, we celebrate National Dentist’s Day! National Dentist’s Day is a day to celebrate the men and women who work so hard to keep our teeth clean and protect our mouths from harmful diseases. It is their duty to prevent, diagnose, and treat any oral health issues that may arise. They monitor the growth of our teeth and jaws, and they are ready to perform surgical procedures whenever one is necessary. They are also prepared to help you improve the overall aesthetic of your smile!

Join Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas in celebrating our very own Dr. Anup Naik this National Dentist’s Day! Dr. Naik has been serving the great people of DFW for years, providing them with excellent preventative care and cosmetic dentistry.

How to Celebrate

National Dentist’s Day is a day to celebrate all the hard work your dentist does for the health of your teeth! There are many ways you can say thank you to your dentist, showing them you value their work. Some of the ways you can celebrate your dentist on March 6th include:

  • Brush and Floss Your Teeth. While your dentist has made it their life goal to care for the dental health of their patients, they can’t do it alone. By regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, you show your dentist that you, too, value the health of your teeth and mouth. It warms their heart to know that you are taking the necessary steps to improve your dental hygiene. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes and floss daily to show your dentist you care about oral hygiene just as much as they do.
  • Schedule a Dental Cleaning. Another huge way to show your dentist that you truly care for your oral hygiene is by scheduling a dental cleaning. Dental care experts recommend visiting your dentist twice a year, but a surprising number of people don’t visit their doctor this often. According to a survey, 42% of Americans stated they don’t see their dentist as often as they would like. Only 58% surveyed reported seeing their dentist once a year. For National Dentist’s day, take some time to schedule your next dental cleaning.
  • Write a Thank You Note. Being a dentist is often a thankless job. While they didn’t set out to be dentists for the recognition, it would be nice if they saw how appreciative their patients were. Write your dentist a Thank You note, letting them know how much you appreciate their hard work and dedication.

Why We Love Dentists 

Oral hygiene is an extremely important part of your overall health. Visiting your dentist doesn’t just protect your oral health. It also helps protect your body too. There are several diseases that make themselves known through oral signs or symptoms, such as:

  • Diabetes
  • Oral cancer
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Heart disease
  • Kidney disease

Your dentist is able to recognize and diagnose certain health conditions before they become serious. Even cavities and gum disease can lead to serious infections that threaten your entire body.

Your dentist can also help you feel more confident. More than half of Americans feel insecure about their smiles. Fortunately, your dentist can help improve the look of your smile through careful planning and treatment. If you are consistently taking care of oral hygiene at home, your dentist is better able to help transform your smile when you visit them. Dentists like Dr. Naik can leave you with a smile you’re sure to love.

Celebrating Dr. Naik

Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is led by Dr. Anup Naik. Dr. Naik is a native of the DFW Metroplex. He prides himself on being able to serve the community where he and his family grew up. Dr. Naik began his career by receiving a Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology & Biochemistry from the University of North Texas. Following this, he then continued his education at the prestigious Baylor College of Dentistry in downtown Dallas, where he eventually received his Doctor of Dental Surgery Degree.

Dr. Naik established his cosmetic dentistry clinic in Irving, Texas. He has established himself and his practice as a leader in cosmetic and general dentistry. He prides himself on staying up to date on all of the latest trends and technologies in cosmetic dentistry, which allows him to provide the best service to all of his patients.

Dr. Naik prides himself on being able to completely transform his patients’ smiles. His innate eye for detail, along with state-of-the-art technology, has allowed him to transform thousands of smiles. Dr. Naik is a perfectionist who prides himself on his work. He believes that each patient deserves to be treated with the highest level of care and dedication needed to give them the smile of their dreams.

At Cosmetic & Family Dentistry, Dr. Naik’s goal is to make sure each patient feels welcomed and comfortable in his office. He aims to treat each patient like a family member with compassion and care that he would like from others. On National Dentist’s Day, let your dentist know that you appreciate all the work they do for your smile. Call Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas to schedule your next dental appointment or to let Dr. Naik know you’re thankful for him and his work.

How Your Teeth Affect How You Talk

Your Teeth Impact How You Talk

Humans are the most intelligent animals on the face of the Earth. Not only that, but we are also one of the most social beings on the planet. We strive for interpersonal communication between one another. Humans look for various ways to communicate, and human speech is the most vital aspect of all human communication.

We don’t just use communication to talk with your friends, family, coworkers, and strangers. We use communication to help express ourselves through singing, acting, and much more. While speech is such an integral part of who we are as a species, not too many take the time to think about how we create the sounds that make up human speech. We often take it for granted. But several things affect how you talk.

Human speech is a complicated process. To create certain phonetic sounds, your body uses a combination of your vocal cords, lips, tongue, and teeth. That’s right. Your teeth do much more than just looking pretty and helping you chew. Your teeth are an integral part of creating human speech. If you are missing teeth, or they are crooked or crowded, the sounds coming from your mouth will be incorrect. But how do your teeth affect how you talk?

Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas wants to educate our patients about how important their teeth are. Your teeth play a substantial role in not only helping you eat but also helping you talk.

What Sounds Your Teeth Help With

There are many different sounds that your mouth makes to form human speech. Some sounds can only be made in the back of your throat with your vocal cords. Some are made thanks to the way your tongue moves. Others require your lips to form in a certain way, while others need your teeth.

Strident sounds are the sounds your mouth makes that require friction of fast airflow being bushed against your teeth to produce sound. These are sounds that rely on teamwork between your teeth and tongue, or they involve your lips curling or pressing against your teeth. Some of these sounds include:

  • “f” like in “fish.”
  • “v” like in “vet.”
  • “s” like in “sew.”
  • “z” like in “zoo.”
  • “ch” like in “chin.”
  • The “g” sound like in “gym.”
  • “sh” like in “shoe.”
  • The “th” like in “thirst.”

There are more examples, such as those that require your teeth to be aligned perfectly to accurately pronounce them. Whenever your teeth are missing or misaligned, you may notice that the sounds don’t come out correctly.

Think of a child and their baby teeth. Your child may be able to properly articulate a sound before they lose their baby teeth, but once that tooth falls out, they can no longer articulate it correctly. However, they should maintain that skill, so when their adult tooth grows in, they will still be able to properly enunciate the sound.

Teeth Conditions That Affect Speech

While children are often the most notable cases of affected speech, several different conditions can also affect an adult’s speech, as well. Some of these conditions can be easily remedied. Some of these conditions are:

  • Missing Teeth: As we mentioned earlier, when your child first loses their baby teeth, the way they enunciate words changes. However, there are instances when adults lose their permanent teeth. To some, this may not be a big deal, but it can drastically alter the way you speak.
  • Malocclusion: Malocclusions occurs when there is a misalignment problem with your teeth, such as crowded teeth, crossbite, over- or underbite, or open bite. A study by researchers from the University of Bristol Dental School found that those with malocclusion struggled more pronouncing dental sounds than those with normal tooth alignment.
  • Bruxism: Bruxism is the act of habitually grinding your teeth, whether intentional or not. This grinding of your teeth often damages your jaw, which negatively impacts how clear you speak.

Speaking Confidence 

Your smile is one of the first things people notice about you. A warm and welcoming smile can give off a great first impression. However, many people are self-conscious about their teeth. More than half of Americans feel insecure about their smiles. Whether it’s because their teeth are crowded or crooked, or they believe their smile could be brighter, many people avoid showing their smiles.

People often talk quietly or mumble to hide their dental flaws. They will do whatever they can to hide or cover their mouth. This often negatively impacts your speech. By muzzling yourself or changing how wide you open your mouth, you speak unnaturally. If you do this repeatedly, the muscles in your mouth adjust and adopt this new way of speaking. If you continue to do this for many years, these muscles become rigid and inflexible, staying this way. Your speech pattern will be forever changed.

Treatments 

If you suffer from a condition that affects the way you speak, there are often many treatment options offered at Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas that can help you not only speak clearly but feel confident about your smile, too. Some of these include:

Many of these treatments help straighten your teeth. When your teeth are aligned correctly, your mouth can flawlessly make sounds. Dentures, implants, and bridges help replace or fill the gaps in the mouth where a tooth is supposed to be. Veneers and teeth whitening help improve the overall aesthetic of your smile, boosting your confidence in your smile.

Your teeth don’t just exist to help you chew up your food. They help you make the sounds needed to effectively communicate. Your teeth pair with your tongue, lips, and vocal cords to effectively create noises. If you don’t properly care for your teeth, you don’t just put yourself at risk of gum disease and other conditions, but you may also affect the way you speak. Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is here to help you better care for your oral hygiene.

How to Maximize Your Insurance Benefits in 2020

Insurance Benefits Play a Large Role in the Health of Your Mouth

Having a beautiful smile is priceless. However, you can’t have a great smile without putting in the effort needed to take care of your teeth. This involves brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing daily. Additionally, one of the best ways to ensure the overall health of your mouth, body, and well-being is by maximizing your insurance benefits.

As you may be aware, most insurance benefits start over fresh with at the beginning of every new year. The benefits you don’t use in one year do not carry over into the next. Each year, billions of dollars’ worth of insurance benefits are wasted. While this does not have a direct negative impact on your life, it does mean you missed an opportunity to improve the health of your mouth and teeth.

With the beginning of a new year, use 2020 as a chance to maximize your insurance benefits. The year has only just begun, and you still have plenty of time to use these benefits. Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is here to provide you with some useful tips to ensure that you properly maximize your insurance benefits in 2020.

Why You Need to Use Your Benefits Before the Year Ends

As we mentioned before, billions of dollars in insurance benefits go unused and wasted every year. Most dental insurance plans run on a traditional calendar year, meaning once December ends, you lose the benefits you didn’t use. They don’t roll over into the new year. For the health of your mouth and even your bank account, you must use your benefits throughout 2020. Here are some reasons why you should take advantage of your benefits this year:

  • Yearly Maximums. Your yearly maximum is the highest amount your dental insurance is willing to pay on dental work throughout the year. Most maximums sit between $1,000 and $2,000 on average. Even though it renews every year, you should still see what work you can get down before they renew.
  • You need to be utilizing your benefits if you are paying dental insurance premiums. Even if you don’t believe you have any real oral issues, you should still regularly go in to have at least a dental cleaning to help prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Don’t waste your money by not taking advantage of them.
  • Oral Issues Can Occur. If you put off dental treatment, the health of your mouth can quickly and drastically decline. By not using your insurance benefits and visiting your dentist, you put yourself at risk of suffering serious oral conditions, which will cost you more time and money in the future.
  • Fee Increases: Unfortunately, your fees may rise with the new year. Many dentists have to raise their rates due to the cost of living, increasing costs of materials, and more. The increase in fees can lead to a higher copay. Take advantage of these lower prices and schedule a visit with your dentist today.

Maximizing Your Insurance Benefits 

According to the National Association of Dental Plans, around 47% of adults use an employer-sponsored dental insurance plan, but less than half of these individuals use these benefits. In fact, only 4.2% of them reach their annual maximum. Far too many people have access to dental insurance, yet they hardly ever take advantage of it.

Instead of wasting your dental insurance benefits, Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas urges you to get the most out of these benefits in 2020. You can do this by:

Regularly Schedule Dental Appointments

We cannot stress enough how critical regularly visiting your dentist is. There is no better way of preventing the development or progression of dangerous oral diseases. Most dentists recommend receiving dental cleanings twice a year or every six months. These dental cleanings allow your dentists the opportunity to thoroughly clean your teeth, while also providing them with the chance to recognize any diseases or conditions that would threaten the health of your mouth.

Most insurance plans cover preventative care, which includes dental cleanings. However, if you regularly visit your dentist, you may discover that there is an issue that must be treated soon, or it will get worse. At that point, you are able to utilize your benefits before the year comes to a close.

Choose an In-Network Dentist 

Once you have figured out which insurance plan you are on, it’s time to find a dentist. This still can be a little more complicated than many people think. While it is completely understandable to look for a dentist that you feel most comfortable with, they may not be in your network of dentists. The reason that this is such an issue is you will likely need to pay more for dentists outside of your network. Try to find a dentist within your insurance network. You will save more money and be able to better enjoy your benefits.

Understand Your Benefits

There is no better way to maximize your insurance benefits than by understanding what you can and can’t do with them. While you should always schedule regular dental checkups every six months to ensure the health of your teeth, it helps to know what may happen if you need further care.

Prior to receiving any treatment, reach out to your insurance provider or your dentist to learn what you will need to owe for other dental procedures. Your insurance only covers part of restorative procedures, such as root canals and implants. You can budget much better if you know what you will be paying ahead of time.

At the beginning of each calendar year, your insurance benefits reset. If you didn’t use them the year before, they don’t roll over into the new year. Billions of dollars are wasted because people fail to take advantage of these benefits. We encourage you to maximize your insurance benefits in 2020 to ensure your teeth and mouth stay healthy. To learn how you can maximize your benefits, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas and let us help.

Types of Teeth and What They Do

There are 32 Teeth in the Adult Mouth

While everyone on Earth has a mouth full of teeth, no one tends to give them much thought. Yes, they are aware that they must properly engage in good oral hygiene in order to prevent the development of oral diseases, but no one, outside of dental care professionals, really stops and thinks about teeth and their functions. You may only know that they help you eat. However, do you know about the different types of teeth and what they do?

Most children have only 20 teeth, known as primary or baby teeth, which begin to grow around the time an infant is six months old. All of them should have erupted by the time a child is 3. Between the ages of 6 and 12, these baby teeth will begin to fall out. During this phase, children will be leaving their teeth under their pillows for the tooth fairy, while they patiently wait for their adult teeth to grow in.

The majority of adults have 32 teeth, known as their permanent or secondary teeth. They have:

  • 8 incisors
  • 4 canines/cuspids
  • 8 premolars/bicuspids
  • 12 molars, which also include 4 wisdom teeth

By the time you turn 21, all of your permanent teeth will have grown in. While we just listed the different kinds of teeth, very few people truly know the difference between them and what they do. Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas is here to give you a better understanding of your teeth.

Different Types of Teeth

As we have already stated, most adults have 32 teeth. Some divide teeth into three different types: incisors, canines, and molars. However, many dental care experts like to distinguish between the three types of molars: premolars, molars, and third molars, also known as wisdom teeth.

Today, we are going to be differentiating between these three molars, so in total, there will be five different types of teeth. Both the bottom and the top row of teeth comprise of 16 teeth, containing all types of teeth.

Incisors

The first teeth we are going to discuss are the incisors. They are the first group of teeth that grow in after your baby teeth fall out. They also make up the majority of your smile, often being referred to as the anterior or front teeth. There is a total of eight incisors in your mouth; four in the top-center of your mouth and four in the bottom-center.

Incisors are typically thin and flat and look like small chisels. They are fairly sharp, which allows them to help you bite into your food. Their narrow edge has adapted perfectly to cut your food. Your incisors are what makes the initial bite into food.

Canines/Cuspids 

Arguably the most distinct teeth in your mouth are your canines, also referred to as cuspids. They are the closest link between human mouths and the mouths of carnivorous predators like wolves and lions. In pop culture, creatures like vampires have extremely pronounced canines. In typical humans, canines are much smaller. However, they are still the longest teeth in the human mouth, with one pointed end and one long, single root.

There are two canines on the bottom and top of your mouth. They reside on both sides of your four incisor teeth. Their main purpose is to tear into food and rip it apart, but they also help guide your mouth into the best biting position.

They typically arrive right after your incisors, with the bottom canines erupting before the top ones.

Premolars/Bicuspids

Immediately following your canines are your premolars. Premolars are also referred to as your bicuspids. These are the foremost molars in your mouth. In total, there are eight premolars with four on the top of your mouth and four on the bottom. Behind each canine on both sides of the top and bottom row of teeth sit two bicuspids.

Premolars are far bigger than canines and incisors. Unlike those two, premolars have flat surfaces with three to four cusps, which allow them to properly crush and grind your food into smaller pieces, making it easier to swallow.

Molars

Your molars are the strongest teeth in your mouth. They are the main masticators, which means they are the teeth most commonly used for chewing. They are found the furthest in your mouth. Molars are broader than premolars and possess four to five cusps.

When you chew, your tongue naturally pushes food to the back of the mouth. There, your molars’ broad, flat surfaces allow them to properly break up your food for easy swallowing. You have a total of 12 molars. There are six on the top of your mouth and six on the bottom, with three on each side. However, it’s important to remember that four of these molars are also known as your third molars or, as they are better known, your wisdom teeth.

  • Wisdom Teeth: Third molars are the last teeth to come into your mouth. While not everyone grows wisdom teeth, for the ones that do, their mouths don’t always have enough room for them. Unfortunately, this leads to wisdom teeth being impacted, meaning they are stuck under the gums. The best way to diagnose impacted wisdom teeth is through dental x-rays. Impacted teeth cause a great deal of pain and discomfort, sometimes even leading to infections or diseases. The only way to treat this condition is by extracting the teeth.

The Bottom Line 

There are different types of teeth in your mouth. While they each have separate purposes on their own, they all share the same goals. They exist to help you eat properly, biting into your food and breaking it up, so it’s safe to swallow. Your teeth also play a large role in how you speak. They help you properly enunciate certain sounds to create words.

Your teeth are incredibly strong, but they don’t last forever. You have to take proper care of them. This means you must brush twice a day and floss daily. That also means you should regularly receive a dental cleaning at least twice a year. If you are interested in learning more about taking better care of your teeth or need to schedule your next cleaning, contact Cosmetic & Family Dentistry of Las Colinas today.