Monthly Archives: January 2021

Breaking Down Dental Anxiety

Close up view of a little girl looking scared and terrified screaming covering her mouth from the dentists with medical tools.

For many people, the idea of going to the dentist brings about feelings of anxiety. It is estimated that 36% of the population suffers from dental anxiety. For some it is even more serious, escalating to the level of dentophobia, and it is often related to iatrophobia (fear of doctors) and trypanophobia (fear of needles/injections). 

Dental anxiety prevents some people from going to the dentist to get the necessary care that is so important for oral health. People with dental anxiety will avoid going to the dentist for any reason, from regular cleanings and exams to cavity fillings to root canals. They will even avoid getting treatment for serious dental conditions and live with the pain (and often over-medicate).

What causes dental anxiety? Typically it starts with just one negative experience at a dental office. It doesn’t necessarily mean that anything went wrong, it may have been just a first time cavity filling that incited the fear. It often begins in childhood and continues into adulthood. 

What can be done about it? How can people with severe dental anxiety get the care they need?

Sedation Dentistry

For patients with severe dental anxiety, it can help to be sedated. Sedation dentistry refers to any form of medicated relaxation used during a dental procedure. Some sedation medications can be taken orally. Others must be administered intravenously. Sometimes a combination of sedation methods can be used. If a patient is severely afraid of needles, they may have trouble even having an IV put in for sedation. But an oral sedative taken first, or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) administered before the IV can help the patient relax. 

Levels of Sedation

There are different levels of sedation that can be used. Which is best depends on the patient’s preference, the type of procedure being done, and the dentist’s recommendation. 

  • Minimal sedation. With minimal sedation you are awake, but medically relaxed so that you won’t feel any stressl. 
  • Moderate sedation. You’re still awake when moderately sedated, but you are more relaxed and typically won’t remember much about your procedure. 
  • Deep sedation. When deeply sedated you are partially “asleep” but can be brought back to awareness quickly when necessary. You will not be aware of your procedure at all. 
  • General anesthesia. Under general anesthesia you are completely unconscious. You won’t be aware of the procedure and you will be brought back to consciousness afterwards. 

What to Expect Following Sedation

For some patients, even the idea of being sedated causes anxiety because of the loss of control. But knowing what to expect can help. 

You will need a friend or family member to drive you home from a dental procedure that involves sedation of any kind. You may still feel the effects of the anesthesia for an hour or two after going home, but once it wears off you’ll be back to normal. You may feel tired for the rest of the day following your procedure and need to rest. But by the next day you’ll be able to resume your normal activities. 

Savannah Dental Solutions Provides Sedation Dentistry

If you or someone you love avoids dental care due to extreme anxiety, sedation dentistry can help. Savannah Dental Solutions provides a wide range of sedation options to help anxious patients relax. We will discuss the various sedation options with you to decide on the best course of treatment to make you or your loved one comfortable. Sedation dentistry can put an end to dental anxiety for patients who have suffered from it for years. You can get the dental care you need without the stress and fear. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to helping you overcome your anxiety to get the dental care you need. 

Weighing the Pros and Cons of Porcelain Veneers

Using shade guide at mouth of a woman to check veneer of tooth

Are you thinking about getting porcelain veneers? Veneers are a great way to give your smile a makeover. Veneers are usually considered to be a cosmetic procedure, but can also be restorative as they strengthen and protect your teeth.

When deciding whether or not veneers are a good choice for you, it can help to weigh the pros and cons of the procedure. As with any type of dental procedure there are advantages and disadvantages of veneers when compared to other options. 

What Are Veneers and How Do They Work?

To understand veneers teeth pros and cons, it helps to know what they are and how they work. Getting veneers is like putting a new outer facade on your teeth. Veneers are typically made of porcelain because it closely resembles natural tooth material in look and strength. Veneers attach to the front side of your teeth to give them a new appearance. They don’t replace your teeth like dental implants, and they are different from crowns that completely cover your teeth on all sides. Veneers simply attach to the front of each tooth to make your teeth whiter, straighter, and more uniform. 

Veneers Teeth Pros and Cons

There are many pros, but also some cons of veneers. 

Pros: 

  • Natural look. Porcelain very closely resembles natural tooth enamel. Veneers can be made to match the size, shape, and color of your natural teeth. 
  • Porcelain resists stains. Another benefit of porcelain veneers is that they are better at resisting stains than composite veneers or even your natural teeth. Porcelain is not as porous as enamel so it won’t allow food and drink to get in and cause discoloration. 
  • Non-invasive procedure. Veneers don’t require surgery or even anesthesia in most cases. Only a very thin layer of tooth enamel is removed before the veneers are attached. 
  • Less expensive than replacing your teeth. Completely replacing your teeth with dental implants, crowns, or bridges is much more expensive than getting veneers. If the root of your tooth is still intact and healthy, veneers can give you a new smile for much less. 
  • Porcelain is compatible with gum tissue. Yet another reason porcelain is the best material for veneers is that it is biocompatible with your gums and won’t cause irritation. 

Cons:

  • Cannot correct severe decay. If your teeth are severely decayed, you may need a root canal, cavity fillings, or even replacement teeth. Veneers cannot save your teeth, only improve the appearance of your teeth. 
  • Irreversible. In order for veneers to be placed it is necessary to remove a thin layer of tooth enamel, meaning you can’t undo the procedure. Tooth enamel does not regenerate once it is lost. If anything goes wrong with your veneers, they will need to be replaced with new veneers or another tooth replacement option. 
  • Can cause tooth sensitivity. When the top layer of enamel is removed it can make your teeth sensitive to heat and cold and veneers are too thin to protect against it. 
  • Prone to chipping and cracking. Porcelain veneers can potentially chip or crack and need to be replaced. 

Making Your Decision

Now that you know most of the veneers teeth pros and cons, you can make a more informed decision about whether or not they are right for you. It is best to discuss your options with your dentist first, as they are familiar with the procedure and your particular dental needs. You should only get veneers if they are good for your dental health as well as the appearance of your teeth. A good looking smile can still have dental problems underneath that can cause you pain and need to be addressed. 

Savannah Dental Solutions Can Transform Your Smile

If you’re looking for a cosmetic dentist who can give your smile a makeover, Savannah Dental Solutions can help. We offer a range of cosmetic dentistry services from veneers to teeth whitening and more. If you want a whiter, straighter, or just an all-around better looking smile, Savannah Dental Solutions can recommend the best option or combination of options for you. 

Call (912) 354-1366 or contact us today to schedule a consultation. We look forward to giving you the beautiful smile you deserve.