I am still nervous after nitrous oxide at the dentist

Am I a candidate for sedation dentistry? I have a really embarrassing fear of the dentist. My current dentist is really nice but every time I have to go I get so nervous I shake and I am sometimes literally sick. I’m afraid I’m going to need a cavity filled or something. My dentist before wasn’t that nice. When I leave this dentist everything is fine but when it’s time for the next appointment I start freaking out again. They say it gets better every time you go. But it hasn’t for me. Any tips? I have another apt in 2 weeks and I want to prepare myself for a better visit. I am asking about sedation because my dentist only uses nitrous and it doesn’t help at all. I am still nervous after I receive it. Thanks Brendon

Brendon – Bad dental experiences are a source of fear and anxiety for many patients. It is good that you have found a gentle dentist. You may be a candidate for a higher level of sedation dentistry. Your medical history will need to be reviewed first.

To start, tell your new dentist about your fear and the reason for it. He or she will pay extra attention to the things that make you particularly nervous. Sometimes, a more thorough explanation of the procedure, and what to expect during and afterward will calm you.

You can take an I-pod and listen to music to distract you from the dental procedure. Or, some dentists have televisions in the treatment room.

If you are very anxious, you may need a dentist who uses higher levels of sedation than nitrous oxide, such as as a small amount of anti-anxiety medication that you take in advance, or IV sedation. Dentists vary in the type of sedation dentistry they offer. Not all dentists provide sedation for their patients.

Sedation dentistry completely relaxes you so that your dentist can complete your treatment while you are free of anxiety.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

I quit smoking and my teeth are still dark. Where can I find free teeth whitening?

I quit smoking about 2 years ago. I smoked from age 13 to 39. I was hoping that with time my teeth would get whiter by now. Now that it’s been 2 years I am not so confident that it’s going to happen. I started using whitening toothpaste about 3 weeks after I quit. I really don’t see any improvement. Also for over a month last year I used whitening strengths. I got the most costly box I could find at Walmart because I really wanted it to work. I am not about to pay a dentist $500 to get my teeth white so I am going to keep working at it myself. How long will it take for my teeth to lighten, or is it really too late? Is there anywhere I can get free teeth whitening? – Henry

Henry – When you quit smoking, you prevent additional staining of your teeth from the nicotine, but quitting doesn’t reverse the stains and discoloration that smoking has already caused on your teeth.

Whitening toothpaste removes surface stains from your teeth. Stains from cigarette smoking are beneath the surface, and it takes strong bleaching gel to penetrate your teeth and break down the stains in them. Over-the-counter whitening strips just aren’t strong enough.

Many people search online for free teeth-whitening kits. Often shipping rates for the products are very expensive. Other consumers find that the bleaching gel had no effect on their teeth at all. In some cases, teeth or gums have been damaged by chemicals in the bleaching gel, which perhaps was not bleaching gel at all.

A cosmetic dentist can help. He or she will examine your teeth to determine which whitening treatment will work best on them. Either in-office or take-home treatment will get your teeth amazingly white. If necessary, most dentists will be able to work with your budget to make teeth whitening affordable for you. You may be able to find a dentist who offers free teeth-whitening treatment to patients who keep their regularly scheduled dental cleaning and exam appointments.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy.

Can I find an affordable dentist to fix my cracked tooth?

I think my tooth is cracked and I need to find an affordable dentist to fix it. I really can’t see a crack though. I had a heavy blow to my face and I know it hit my tooth. Is this something that will heal on its own or do I need to see a dentist. If it needs to be fixed, how bad will it hurt? Thanks Ian

Ian – If you had trauma to your face and teeth, you may have a cracked tooth. It is important that you quickly find an affordable dentist to examine your tooth.

Some of the symptoms that may indicate your tooth is cracked are pain when you bite or chew, or when the tooth is exposed to heat or cold. You may feel varying levels of pain that come and go.

The inside of your tooth contains soft tissue, or pulp. Pulp contains blood vessels and nerves. A tooth that is cracked is not stable, and causes irritation in the pulp. If it’s left untreated, the pulp can become damaged. Pressure on the tooth when chewing can be painful, and the tooth can be sensitive to extreme changes in temperature. When you find a dentist who can make treatment affordable for you, he or she will treat the tooth based on its condition.

The treatment for your tooth depends on the nature, location, and extent of the crack.

  • Cusp fracture – If the cusp, or biting surface, of your tooth is fractured, it usually doesn’t cause much pain. Your tooth can be protected with a dental crown.
  • Cracked tooth – If the crack in your tooth extends into the root, it will affect the pulp inside your tooth. The crack can gradually spread. The pulp in your tooth will require a root canal treatment to prevent an infection. Cracks that extend below the gumline will likely require the tooth to be extracted. Early treatment is important to prevent the problem from getting worse.
  • Split tooth – A tooth that has been split and segmented cannot be saved intact. The extent of the crack will determine if any portion of the tooth can be saved. Again, prompt treatment is needed to preserve as much of the tooth as possible.
  • Vertical root fracture – This fracture begins at the tooth root and extends toward the biting surface. The surrounding bone and gum may become infected. At times, the fractured portion of the root can be removed to prevent tooth extraction.

Regardless of the treatment you need, your comfort can be maximized by a dentist who is not only affordable, but who also has gentle techniques. Let him or her know about your anxiety. A gentle dentist works hard to ensure that your treatment is pain free. If you are particularly anxious, sedation dentistry may be recommended to help you relax. It’s important that you see a dentist right away.

This post is sponsored by Plano, TX female dentist Dr. Miranda Lacy. Call our office to find out how Dr. Lacy can make dental treatment affordable for you.  Dr. Lacy’s office is convenient to Addison, Allen, Carrollton, Farmers Branch, Frisco, Garland, Highland Park, and Little Elm.