Category Archives: Sedation Dentistry

General Dentists Offer Anxiety-Free Services

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: oneblink1 | Adobe Stock

When you think about the dentist, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?

For many people, anxiety rears its head as soon as they think about general dentists.

According to Gallup, about 33% of Americans didn’t go to the dentist in 2013. Some people don’t go to the dentist until they have an emergency! That can endanger their health and make recovery more expensive.

There’s no doubt dental anxiety is a big part of the picture.

What is Dental Anxiety and Where Does it Come From?

General dentists have long known they need to go the extra mile to make their offices safe and comfortable.

Older people in particular cite the possibility of pain and discomfort as a major reason why they don’t always go to the dentist, even though they know they should.

Luckily, there are two great new things to know about modern dentistry:

Discomfort from Routine Procedures is All But Gone

It’s true that, decades back, hand tools like scrapers and drills were in common use. However, dentistry is undergoing a transformation. More procedures use laser dentistry, rendering many visits completely discomfort-free.

Even in cases where hand tools are used, their design and manufacture is totally different from what it was. When you visit expert general dentists like those at Landmark Dental Group, you can be certain your comfort is the #1 concern.

There’s a Greater Awareness of Dental Anxiety

There was a time when if you admitted to having worries about the dentist, you may not have reached a sympathetic ear. That has completely changed. At Landmark Dental Group, we’ve pioneered a comfort-first approach to dentistry.

From beginning to end, you’ll completely understand your dental options and the procedure you choose. Nothing is ever performed without your consent. From our front office team to our general dentists, everyone makes the process easy.

Sedation Dentistry Can Make Any Procedure Simple for Dental Anxiety Sufferers

Last, but not least, there’s sedation dentistry.

Sedation dentistry allows you to enjoy your choice of sedation options so you can rest peacefully during your procedure. Patients usually awaken refreshed, with little memory of the goings-on.

There’s a wide range of mild and moderate sedation options for you to choose from:

Nitrous Oxide

Nitrous oxide “takes the edge off” while allowing you to recover completely within just a few minutes after your procedure. The gas is inhaled with oxygen through a nose mask. Afterwards, it is safely flushed out with pure oxygen and you awaken fully.

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation uses oral medication – typically in the Valium family – about an hour before your appointment. Patients using oral sedation may doze off completely during their visit. It’s crucial to bring along a friend or family member to drive you home.

Conscious IV Sedation

Medication administered through a vein can produce the strongest relaxation. This safe, effective approach typically leaves patients with little memory of their visit. Again, a driver is required.

To learn more about anxiety-free dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Did you Know That Painless Root Canal Treatments are Available?

Root Canal Treatment

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A Painless Root Canal Treatment From Your General Dentist

If you hear the term “root canal therapy” and cringe in fear, you aren’t alone. Root canal therapy is considered an extremely painful procedure, but that isn’t the case at all. General dentists can provide painless, effective root canal treatment that stops the pain associated with infection.

The Procedure Eliminates Pain

If you ask most people if they want a root canal treatment, they’ll immediately recoil and say, “no.” This is because the procedure is so painful, right? Wrong. When you have a tooth infection, it can be extremely painful. Even when you aren’t eating or drinking, your tooth may throb consistently and even keep you up at night. Pain medication does little to help. What you may need is a root canal treatment.

When decay or trauma allows bacteria to enter the pulp of the tooth, an infection can occur, leading to swelling, pressure and pain. During a root canal treatment, the infection is removed along with the pulp. You may feel some soreness after the procedure, but it’s not nearly as bad as an actual infection.

Numbing Is Used

A root canal treatment would be extremely painful without local anesthetic, or “Novocain,” which is the injection your dentist gives you before working on your teeth. It completely numbs the area, so you feel nothing.

If you have a small cavity on the surface of your tooth, your dentist doesn’t need to use much “Novocain” because it’s far from the pulp. However, with a root canal treatment, the dentist is treating the pulp, so more “Novocain” may be needed. If you do experience any discomfort during the procedure, tell your dentist and they can give you more anesthetic until you feel nothing.

Sedation Is Available

Even though root canal treatment shouldn’t be painful, it still isn’t the most pleasant experience. The fear that you may suddenly feel a sharp pain and the sensation of the file cleaning out your roots makes the procedure uncomfortable.

Luckily, general dentists can provide different levels of sedation, including inhalation (nitrous oxide), oral and IV conscious. Inhalation is the most basic form of sedation, and you’ll be able to drive yourself home after the procedure, but for oral and IV sedation, you’ll need a ride. All, however, make you more relaxed and make the procedure seem dreamlike and fast, so your anxiety melts away.

Root canal therapy should not be feared. It is an effective way to save an infected tooth. Infected teeth can’t be “cured” any other way, so if you refuse the root canal treatment, expect your tooth to be pulled. For more information about root canal treatments, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Your Local Santa Cruz Dentist Offers Sedation Dentistry

Sedation Dentistry

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4 FAQs About Sedation Dentistry in Santa Cruz

If you get anxious when you think about going to the dentist, you’re not alone. Many people find certain procedures or just going to the dentist stressful. Luckily, sedation dentistry in Santa Cruz helps you relax during your visit. Check out these four FAQs about sedation with a Santa Cruz dentist.

What Are the Benefits of Sedation?

There are two major benefits to sedation. Firstly, sedation relieves the anxiety associated with going to the dentist. Anxiety can be so bad that it causes people to avoid going to the dentist for years. However, with sedation, once you feel the effects, your stress melts away, allowing you to undergo procedures even when you are nervous.

The other big benefit of sedation is that it has amnesiac qualities. This means that after the procedure you will likely have little to no memory of it. Plus, even during the procedure, you lose track of time, making the procedure seem quicker than it actually is.

What Types of Sedation Are Available?

There are various types of sedation available, including inhalation, oral, and IV conscious sedation. Even if you’ve never had it before, you’re probably familiar with inhalation sedation: nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”. Inhalation sedation allows you to breathe in the gas while you are in the chair. As long as you breathe the gas, you feel the effects. Once the gas is gone, the substance is quickly flushed from your system, allowing you to return to your normal activities, including driving.

Oral and IV conscious sedation are a little stronger, and you’ll need someone to drive you to and from the appointment because the effects last longer. With oral sedation, you would take a pill about an hour before the procedure. With IV conscious sedation, an IV is attached during the procedure to deliver a sedative.

Does Sedation Replace “Novocain”?

Before a dentist performs a procedure that may cause pain, an injection is given in the gums. This is called local anesthetic – many people refer to this as “Novocain,” and it’s what makes going to the dentist today less painful, if not completely pain-free. It numbs the nerves so you won’t feel anything, even during a root canal treatment that treats the pulp of the tooth.

Some people may mistakenly think they won’t have “Novocain” if they use a sedation option, but that isn’t true. You will still receive local anesthetic to get rid of any feeling. The sedation is just an added measure to ensure your comfort.

Are Patients Under Sedation Asleep?

Sedation is not designed to cause you to fall asleep. Even IV conscious sedation is not meant to cause you to become unconscious. You can still hear the dentist and respond when necessary or follow directions, such as opening your mouth wider.

It is not, however, uncommon for you to fall asleep under sedation. Sedation makes you sleepy, and because the sedation also relieves stress and tension, you are more likely to relax enough to fall asleep. Of course, many patients remain awake.

Don’t avoid going to a Santa Cruz dentist another moment. Sedation dentistry can help. For more information regarding the benefits of sedation, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Looking for a Dentist Near You? Get 2017 Started Off Right With a High-Quality Santa Cruz Dentist

Photo Credit:  luckybusiness | Adobe Stock

Photo Credit: luckybusiness | Adobe Stock

Get 2017 Started off Right with a High-Quality Santa Cruz Dentist Near You

With the new year here, it’s time to start thinking about your smile. If you’ve been neglecting your teeth, it’s time to make the resolution to get back to taking care of them. Start by finding a high-quality Santa Cruz dentist near you.

Check out what they can do for you:

Keep Your Teeth Clean and Healthy

What’s the most basic thing a Santa Cruz dentist can do for you? The answer is simple: keep your teeth clean and healthy. Regular check-ups and cleanings are a must for good oral hygiene.

And, if you’re in need of extra special care, Landmark Dental Group also offers root scaling and planing for people with gingivitis or deep pockets that hide tartar and plaque. Everyone needs to come to the dentist at least twice a year for preventative care even if you don’t have a problem. It’s the best way to stop problems before they start.

Get Your Whole Family Treated

As a family dentist office, Landmark Dental makes treating your whole family easy because they see anyone at any age. If you have a child whose first tooth just emerged, they invite you to bring your child for their first exam. You’ll learn how best to care for your child’s teeth. If you have a geriatric parent, bring them by. Older patients often have many problems such as dry mouth, gum disease, etc., that need specialized attention.

Fix Problems That Arise

Of course, even with good preventative care, problems may arise. A little too much sugar could lead to a cavity, and a lot of sugar could lead to a big crack. Your Santa Cruz dentist is there to help with fillings, crowns and extractions. They even offer tooth-colored fillings. So if you need a filling or have metal fillings, you can have them replaced with white fillings that look like natural teeth. Everyone will think you’ve never had a cavity on your life!

Get a Complete Smile

It’s so common to have one or two missing teeth, especially if you are older. This can sometimes be embarrassing, but Landmark Dental Group has you covered. They offer three different ways to replace missing teeth: dentures, dental bridges and dental implants.

Dental implants are the most durable way to replace missing teeth, but they are expensive. Whatever your budget and preferences, you’ll find a way to get the complete smile you desire.

Perfect Your Smile

So many things affect the beauty of your smile: discoloration, genetics, poor oral hygiene, etc. In the past, you pretty much had to live with an imperfect smile. However, today, there are many ways a Santa Cruz dentist can give you a breathtaking smile. Some services include teeth whitening, veneers and crowns. These are all great ways to make your smile look brighter, healthier and younger.

Stay Calm and Relaxed

Too many people have anxiety about going to the dentist, and in the past, there may have been reason, but today, going to the dentist is painless. Of course, that doesn’t always stop your anxiety. So, if you need a way to relax in the chair, choose sedation. You can choose from inhalation sedation, oral sedation and IV conscious sedation. All of them make you feel so relaxed you may fall asleep. Plus, they have some amnesiac qualities, so you won’t remember much of your visit — making it less scary to go to the dentist in the future.

Don’t neglect your mouth a moment longer. You want to be proactive with your smile, so serious problems don’t arise. For more information, contact Landmark Dental Group.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

I’m afraid of the dentist, I haven’t been in years!

Photo Credit: Adobe Stock | nikolasvn

Photo Credit: nikolasvn | Adobe Stock

5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Fear the Dentist

So many people are scared to go to the dentist, especially if they haven’t been in a long time. However, there is nothing scary about going to the dentist.

In fact, check out these five reasons not to fear going to a dentist:

1. Dentists Can Do So Much

Not only do dentists want to ensure that you have a healthy smile, but they also want to make sure you have a beautiful smile. Many general dentists nowadays offer cosmetic services. Not only can your dentist suggest treatments like fillings, root canal therapy, etc., but they can also suggest ways to make your smile look perfect with veneers, crowns, bridges and dental implants.

2. Cleanings Prevent Pain

Cleanings can be painful sometimes. If you don’t floss regularly, your gums may bleed when the hygienist flosses your teeth. If you have sensitive teeth, the cold water may hurt. However, cleanings prevent more severe, serious pain, such as cavities and infections. To reduce the pain of cleanings, make sure you floss at home, and ask your dentist about toothpaste for sensitive teeth. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication before your visit.

3. Novocain Will Numb the Pain

If the dentist does need to perform a treatment that may cause pain, Novocain will be used to numb the area. You don’t need to be scared because the entire area is numb while you are treated. Some people fear the dentist because they underwent a filling or root canal therapy, and they didn’t receive enough Novocain. This isn’t normal. If you do experience pain during the treatment, tell your dentist. They will stop and apply more Novocain until you are completely numb.

4. Dental Treatments Relieve Pain

If you’re in pain because of a cavity, fracture, infection, etc., you should be jumping at the chance to go see your dentist. Many people associate the pain of a problem like an infection with the dentist, but the dentist is fixing the problem, not making it worse. Therefore, even if you experience some pain after the treatment because the area is tender, it pales in comparison to the pain you experienced before, and quickly, the pain will completely leave.

5. Sedation Is Available

If you are still nervous about going to the dentist, ask about sedation dentistry. Sedation dentistry helps keep you relaxed during the treatment. You are awake during the procedure, but you don’t register every little thing the dentist is doing, which makes it easy to pretend you are somewhere else. There are three types of sedation: inhalation, oral pill and IV conscious. You may become so drowsy and relaxed you fall asleep. If you choose oral pill or IV conscious sedation, you’ll need a ride home.

Don’t let your teeth decay because you’re scared of going to the dentist. Just like your doctor, the dentist doesn’t want you to be in pain. Landmark Dental legitimately cares about your oral health; we’ll do all that we can to make your mouth healthy and beautiful. For more information, or if you have questions, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

Sedation Dentistry in Santa Cruz

child dentist treat boy teeth under sedation with dental curing ultraviolet light equipment

photo credit: Kadmy | Adobe Stock

Understanding Sedation Dentistry

Going to the dentist makes many people nervous. A single painful moment as a child or simply the sound of the drill can cause stress, but sedation dentistry helps to put patients at easy. With sedation, you can be relaxed during your procedure. If you’re curious about sedation dentistry, check out the following four facts.

There Are Different Levels of Sedation

There are three common methods of sedation: inhalation, oral and IV conscious. Inhalation sedation uses nitrous oxide to keep you calm. During the procedure, you’ll wear a gas mask over your nose, which allows you to inhale a combination of nitrous oxide and oxygen. This form of sedation is considered minimal. Oral sedation requires you to take a pill about an hour before your appointment. Depending on the dosage, this type of sedation can be minimal or moderate. The last form is IV Conscious sedation and it is considered a moderate level of sedation. With IV conscious sedation, medication is given intravenously.

You May Need a Ride Home

The benefit of nitrous oxide is that your body doesn’t metabolize it. As soon as the gas is turned off and your system is flushed with oxygen, the nitrous oxide is out of your system. This means that you can drive yourself to and from the appointment. If you choose oral sedation, you may be drowsy on your way to and from the dentist, so you’ll need a ride. IV conscious sedation will also make you drowsy, so you’ll need a ride home.

Sedation Makes You Relaxed

Sedation isn’t designed to make you fall asleep or to be completely “out of it.” Sedation is simply designed to make you relaxed during your treatment. You will still be aware of what is happening, and you’ll still be able to comply with instructions from the dentist. However, the sedation reduces or eliminates the anxiety you feel during the procedure. Depending on your level of sedation, however, you may actually fall asleep during the procedure, but you can be easily woken by the dentist if necessary.

You May Forget Your Appointment

Although you will be conscious during the procedure (unless you fall asleep) and aware of what is happening, a side effect of sedation is amnesia. So you probably won’t be able to remember every moment of your treatment. In fact, you may forget most of it. This is another reason sedation dentistry is great. No one wants to remember every detail of a moment that made them stressed and anxious.

If you get nervous about going to the dentist, sedation can make you forget the visit, so you don’t keep thinking about it. Without sedation, you may recall the stress and discomfort you felt during the visit, which can exacerbate your anxiety for future visits.

Sedation dentistry is revolutionizing dentistry because it allows people who are usually too nervous and stressed to visit the dentist to seek dental treatment. You can get the treatments you need to have a beautiful smile without feeling anxious. For more information about sedation dentistry, contact Landmark Dental Group today.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz


Landmark Dental Offers Sedation Dentistry in Santa Cruz

sedated man dental examination at dentist

photo credit: josemagon | DollarPhotoClub

Perhaps a dentist didn’t numb your mouth enough once when you were a kid, or maybe the sound of the drill causes the hair on your arms to rise. Whatever your fear, you can’t let it prevent you from seeing the dentist. Luckily, for patients who experience anxiety and stress about going to the dentist, there are three sedation options available.

What Is Sedation Dentistry?

Many people get anxious about going to the dentist. Even something as simple as a filling can cause a patient to panic and avoid seeing the dentist, which can lead to even more dental problems. While the dentists and staff at Landmark Dental will work with you so you fully understand the procedure in order to reduce anxiety, they also offer sedation dentistry options for patients who still have some reservations. Although you are awake (usually) during sedation dentistry, the sedation can create a stress- and worry-free environment so that you can keep your smile beautiful.

Option 1: Inhalational Sedation

You may not realize it, but you’ve probably heard of inhalational sedation. It’s informally known as laughing gas, but its actual name is nitrous oxide. Despite how it’s depicted on TV, nitrous oxide won’t have you laughing hysterically in the dentist’s chair. It’s simply a minimal sedation technique that’s designed to leave patients relaxed during dental procedures. It’s the most minimal form of sedation, and is only effective while the gas is being inhaled (this is because the human body doesn’t metabolize it). When the treatment is over and the dentist turns off the gas, you’ll be back to normal and will even be able to drive yourself home.

Option 2: Oral Sedation

Oral sedation is another option that can leave you care-free at the dentist. Most commonly, oral sedation comes in the form of a pill from the Valium family. You’ll need to take the pill about an hour before the procedure, so that it’s in full effect when the dental procedure begins. With oral sedation, one can expect to feel drowsy — and even fall asleep for a bit. Because the effects don’t wear off as fast as inhalation sedation, you’ll need someone to drive you home after your treatment. The effectiveness of oral sedation depends on the dosage, but it varies from minimal to moderate.

Option 3: IV Sedation

IV sedation is a form of conscious moderate sedation offered at Landmark Dental Group. With IV sedation, the dentist slowly injects medication directly into your vein until you are sedated enough. Although patients are comfortably sedated and may even remain awake during the entire procedure, they usually don’t remember much of it afterwards. Patients are able to talk and breathe on their own, but your vitals will be closely monitored during the procedure for safety. Like oral sedation, IV sedation takes time to wear off, so you’ll need a ride home from a family member or friend.

Stop avoiding the dentist because of stress or fear. When you choose Landmark Dental, you can have access to sedation services that make going to the dentist a breeze. For more information about sedation dentistry, contact Landmark Dental today by calling (831) 464-1372.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz

4 Great Benefits of Sedation Dentistry

Woman receiving a dental treatment

Sedation can make your dental appointment easier. photo credit: Minerva Studio | Dollar Photo Club

Here at Landmark Dental Group, we understand that going to the dentist isn’t the most enjoyable way to spend your time, but it’s something you shouldn’t avoid. If you get nervous about going to the dentist, however, it can be difficult to bring yourself to go. Luckily, sedation dentistry offers a stress-free way to visit the dentist.

No. 1 – You’re Completely Relaxed

Many people get anxious when they visit the dentist. Even if you’re just going in for a cleaning, you may feel the urge to postpone your appointment. Of course, that only increases the risk of developing a cavity, gum disease, or a more severe problem, including tooth loss. For people who have dental-related phobias, or anxiety in general, sedation dentistry makes going to the dentist a lot easier.

With sedation dentistry, one becomes completely relaxed. It’s easy to forget that you’re at the dentist’s office entirely! Not only does sedation put you at ease, but it makes the entire process easier for your dentist as well. A welcome side effect of the sedation is amnesia, so you won’t remember much of your appointment when it’s over.

No. 2 – You Feel No Pain

One reason people fear going to the dentist is pain. As dentists, we do our best to prevent pain, but some people are more sensitive than others. If you have sensitive teeth or gums, getting your teeth cleaned and rinsed may be painful enough to make you stay away. Even keeping your mouth wide open for a long time can be uncomfortable.

Sedation, however, creates a pain-free experience. Some types of sedation actually increase your pain threshold, so something that normally causes you pain will be like a walk in the park, and keeping your mouth open for a long time will be a breeze.

No. 3 – The Dentist Can Get More Done

Some dental procedures take a long time, and even though you’re just sitting there, they take their toll on you. For example, if you have several teeth that require crowns, and you decide not to undergo sedation dentistry, you may need to schedule several appointments. The strain and stress of a long appointment may just be too much for you.

However, if you do choose to undergo sedation, the dentist can often do more in one longer visit to minimize the number of times you would need to keep coming back. Since you’re sedated, you won’t even realize how long you’ve been at the dentist. You’ll feel like you just sat down when, in actuality, three hours have passed.

No. 4 – There Are Different Types of Sedation Available

There are many different types of sedation available, so you should be able to find the perfect one for you. If you only have a little anxiety about going to the dentist and the treatment won’t be too long, inhalational sedation (i.e. Nitrous oxide or the “laughing gas”) may be the right way to go.  If you have a moderate amount of anxiety, then taking an oral medication prior to your appointment  may help you to feel more relaxed.  On the other hand, if you have more severe anxiety or need to get a lot of treatment done in one visit, intravenous (IV) conscious sedation is the best option.

Sedation makes going to the dentist stress-free, which means you no longer have to put off much needed dental treatment. If you get nervous whenever you think about going to the dentist, contact our friendly office staff at Landmark Dental Group to discuss sedation options by calling (831) 464-1372.

Landmark Dental Group Contact | Santa Cruz