Santa Cruz Family Dentists | Smile With Confidence in Santa Cruz

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All Posts Tagged: conscious sedation dentistry

The Wisdom in Teeth

What are wisdom teeth?

Wisdom teeth are the third set of molars that generally erupt between ages 17-25, when children pass into early adulthood.   This time period has previously been referred to as “the age of wisdom.”   Subsequently, the third molars have been dubbed wisdom teeth.  Most people have 4, but it is possible to have more as well as none.

Can I keep my wisdom teeth?

Some individuals don’t need to have their wisdom teeth removed.  There are a few factors that influence this:

  • Jaw and mouth size
  • The ability of the teeth to fully erupt
  • The angle in which they are erupting

Sometimes, a patient has room enough to keep 1, 2, or four of the teeth.  A panoramic x-ray will allow the dentist to see if there is room enough for you to keep some or all of them.

Third molars need to be extracted when the mouth and jaw are too small to accommodate the teeth,  or they are unable to fully erupt.  These situations can cause discomfort, swelling and sometimes even cysts.

Where do wisdom teeth come from?

Wisdom teeth were originally designed to take the place of lost or damaged teeth that resulted from a primitive diet of coarse food that contained sand and grit.   Now days, processed diets protect teeth, meaning less are lost and damaged.   There is usually not enough room for the teeth to come all the way in.

Will I need to be put to sleep?

Some patients prefer to be sedated while others are just fine with a local anesthetic such as Novocaine.  Either way extractions can be done right here in our office where you already know the staff and dentist.  Most patients do fine to head back to work or school the next day, but if you want to take an extra day off, we won’t tell.

So if you have been putting off the removal of your third molars, there is nothing to fear!   Dentistry has come a long way from the covered wagon and whiskey days of our parents!  We have a variety of solutions for patients apprehensive about extractions and the skill to make your experience the most comfortable  possible.

To your health,

Dr. Bob

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Conscious Sedation Dentistry

” Fear has no boundaries.  It can affect all types of people.  There is no age, sex, economic, or race discrimination guidelines.”-DOCS Education 2010

Are you one of the millions of patients that have fear about coming to the dentist?  Fear can range from mild anxiousness all the way to phobia that keeps people who need to seek dental treatment away.  These are patients who are in pain, yet, are too scared to come in.  Often times, dental problems become worse over time and then require more extensive dental treatment which only leads to more fear about seeking treatment and they cycle continues.

In an effort to be able to bring great dental care to these patients, our team recently returned from a course on oral conscious sedation in San Francisco.   What an awesome way to provide treatment to so many people who are affected by fear associated with going to the dentist.

Break the cycle

The idea behind conscious sedation is that this cycle of fear is broken.  Patients are able to get the care they need in a safe, fear-free, compassionate environment.  Conscious sedation allows patients to remain awake and conscious and have the most relaxed comfortable appointment possible.  Many patients feel like they slept the entire time.  This creates little or no anxiety for the patient where they will have little or no memory of the appointment.

Many types of patients that might benefit from sedation dentistry: People with severe gag reflexes, anxious, fearful, or phobic patients, and people with complex treatment needs.

Relaxation is the key

People who are relaxed during and after dental treatment heal faster and will less post-operative pain, these people  are then less likely to be apprehensive toward dental treatment and hopefully do not tend to avoid dental care in the future.

We hope we can be a step in breaking the cycle of fear for patients.  We want to be an office where patients regardless of their emotional or dental needs feel safe, comfortable and well cared for.

We understand if you are fearful and it is ok that you do.  You are not alone and we would love to be there for not only your dental needs,  but your emotional ones too.

T o your health,

Dr. Bob

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