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Monthly Archives: November 2016

Indigestion and your teeth

By | Diseases, Preventative | No Comments

Do you suffer from heartburn, acid reflux or GORD?

These common health concerns can have a detrimental affect on your oral health over time, leading to erosion of tooth enamel. Dr. Maurice Quirke emphasizes the importance of routine dental care and the opportunity it provides for spotting dental concerns early on and discussing overall health issues that can affect the health of your smile.

Tooth enamel plays an important role in protecting your teeth from damage and decay. It acts like a protective shell for the tooth, keeping out harmful bacteria and other dangerous substances that could affect the health of the tooth.

Patients with frequent heartburn and acid reflux will experience a gradual erosion of tooth enamel from repeated exposure to stomach acid which breaks it down over time. In addition, some medications prescribed to treat these health issues can cause dry mouth, which also leads to erosion of tooth enamel as saliva production is diminished.

Signs of Tooth Enamel Erosion

  • Increased tooth sensitivity
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Cracks and chips on edges of the teeth

Our dentists will work with patients to address both the cause and effects of tooth enamel erosion to restore dental health and prevent future damage. He may recommend dietary changes, chewing sugar free gum between meals to boost saliva production and additional oral hygiene products to prevent further loss of enamel. For teeth that have become damaged, cosmetic dental procedures such as cosmetic tooth bonding, dental crowns and dental veneers can strengthen the teeth and restore your smile.

Keeping your smile healthy and functional not only boosts confidence, it allows you to enjoy the best possible quality of life each day.

IV sedation for acute anxiety

By | Diseases, Treatment information | No Comments

Did you know 50% of people admit to some form of anxiety visiting the dentist, with roughly 1 in 6 avoiding dental care altogether because of it? To ease anxiety dentistry has developed sedation methods that help patients relax during dental treatment.

Many can achieve relaxation with an oral sedative taken about an hour before a visit. Some with acute anxiety, though, may need deeper sedation through an intravenous (IV) injection of medication. Unlike general anesthesia which achieves complete unconsciousness to block pain, IV sedation reduces consciousness to a controllable level. Patients aren’t so much “asleep” as in a “semi-awake” state that’s safe and effective for reducing anxiety.

While there are a variety of IV medications, the most popular for dental use are the benzodiazepines, most often Midazolam. Benzodiazepines act quickly and wear off faster than similar drugs, and have a good amnesic effect (you won’t recall details while under its influence).

Other drugs or substances are often used in conjunction with IV sedation. Nitrous oxide (“laughing gas”) may be introduced initially to help with anxiety over the IV needle stick. Local anaesthetics will also be used to numb the teeth being treated.

If we recommend IV sedation for your dental treatment, there are some things you should do to help the procedure go smoothly and safely. Because the after effects of sedation may impair your driving ability, be sure you have someone with you to take you home. Consult with both your doctor and dentist about taking any prescription medication beforehand. Wear loose, comfortable clothing and don’t wear contact lenses, oral appliances like dentures or retainers, watches or other jewellery.

Our top priority is safety — we follow strict standards and protocols regarding IV sedation and you’ll be carefully monitored before, during and after your procedure. Performed with the utmost care, IV sedation could make your next dental procedure pleasant and uneventful, and impact your oral health for the better.

If you would like more information on IV and other forms of sedation, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.