Routine Dental Wellness Visits
An oral examination is a visual inspection of the mouth, head, and neck, performed to detect abnormalities. Radiographs allow for a more complete examination, helping the doctor to detect cavities, problems in existing dental restorations, gum and bone recession, or other abnormal conditions within the mouth, head, and neck area.
A dental cleaning, also known as an oral prophylaxis, is the removal of dental plaque and tartar (calculus) from the teeth. Specialized instruments are used to gently remove these deposits without harming the teeth. First, an ultrasonic device that emits vibrations and is cooled by water is used to loosen larger pieces of tartar. Next, hand tools are used to manually remove smaller deposits and smooth the tooth surfaces. Once all the tooth surfaces have been cleaned of tartar and plaque, the teeth are polished.
Sealants are applied on the chewing surfaces of teeth, usually in one visit.
Restorative Treatments –
Repair of the Decayed Tooth
A Stainless Steel or White Zirconia Crown may be recommended for your tooth after a root canal is performed or if there is extensive damage to a back tooth from cavities or trauma. They are recommended when a traditional filling is not considered strong enough to protect the tooth. The difference between stainless steel and white crowns is mostly cosmetic, but the pros and cons to each crown can be discussed with your doctor prior to placing it.
A dental extraction, often referred to as getting a tooth pulled, is a common procedure. Extractions may be necessary due to extensive dental cavities which can cause pain or infection, dental trauma, or for orthodontic reasons. Most extractions are routine and can be performed in our office. If Dr. Kapoor feels that an extraction is more complex, you may be referred to an Oral Surgeon.
To ensure you has a positive experience, we recommend the use of both Nitrous Oxide, to help you relax, and a local anesthetic to numb the area. You will require stitches only rarely, and the area will heal on its own.
It is important to be careful not to bite your lip or tongue. If there is sustained bleeding at home, try placing cotton gauze over the extraction site and bite firmly for 30 minutes. You may also wet a tea bag and bite on it gently. The tannic acid will stop bleeding naturally within 15 minutes. You may eat soft food once the numbness wears off, avoiding acidic food and drinks, such as tomato sauce and orange juice. Do not drink from a straw for the first 48 hours. Brush the area carefully and gently. You should relax after surgery, as strenuous physical activity may increase bleeding.
You may start rinsing with a warm salt-water solution after 24 hours. Make your own salt water by mixing 1 tsp (5 g) of salt in a medium-sized glass (8 fl oz.) of warm water. You may take Tylenol or Motrin per label instructions if you have discomfort. Return to the office in seven days for follow up.
Contact our office if you have any concerns about pain, bleeding, or healing.
Nitrous Oxide, commonly called laughing gas, is often recommended for patients requiring a dental procedure that may be uncomfortable or cause fear or anxiety. Nitrous Oxide can make you less anxious, so they receive the necessary dental care with less pain and/or anxiety. Nitrous oxide is classified as an analgesic. It reduces pain and for many procedures makes local anesthesia unnecessary. It is also an anxiolytic. This means you will be in a pharmacologically induced state of consciousness where you are awake but have decreased anxiety which helps facilitate coping skills while retaining interactive ability. Nitrous Oxide helps to ease patients’ fears so they can relax during their visit, and receive dental treatment in a comfortable and safe manner.
Nitrous oxide is mixed directly with oxygen and delivered through a mask as the patient breathes in and out regularly. The patient is asked to breathe normally through the nose, and as the gas begins to take effect, you will become more relaxed and less nervous. The gas raises the pain threshold and may even make the time appear to pass quickly. Some normal sensations that a patient may feel may include tingling in the fingers, toes, cheeks, lips, tongue, head, or cheek area; heaviness in the thighs and/or legs, followed by a lighter floating feeling; resonation in the voice; warm feeling throughout body, flushed cheeks; fits of uncontrollable laughter or giddiness; a lightweight or floating sensation with an accompanying “out of body” sensation; sluggishness in motion and slurring and/or repetition of words. Rarely, you may feel dizzy or nauseous. We do ask you not consume any food or drinks for two hours prior to any procedure scheduled requiring the use of laughing gas. Laughing gas can enhance communication between you and your doctor during dental procedures. It can also reduce the gag reflex, which can interfere with effective dental treatment. These feelings and sensations are temporary and recede once 100% oxygen is delivered after the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide is completely safe to use during treatment and is quickly eliminated from the body once the gas is turned off. You will be awake and able to interact and communicate with the dentist. When the procedure(s) is complete, the nitrous oxide gas will be turned off and you will be given oxygen for 3 to 5 minutes, which flushes the laughing gas and its effects out of your system. There are no lingering effects.
Nitrous Oxide is perhaps the safest relaxant used in dentistry. It is well tolerated, has a rapid onset, is reversible, and can be adjusted in various concentrations. No one is allergic to oxygen or nitrogen, which are the only two ingredients in Nitrous Oxide. You will remain fully conscious and retain all natural reflexes when breathing the gases. You will able to respond to questions or requests. Inform our office regarding any respiratory condition that makes breathing through the nose difficult for your child. In a very small percentage of patients, Nitrous Oxide may not be effective, especially those patients who have severe anxiety, nasal congestion or discomfort wearing a nasal mask. We will review your medical history, level of anxiety, and treatment needs and when determining if nitrous oxide is recommended for you.
In-office IV Sedation uses medications to allow the patient to go to sleep while receiving dental treatment. Patients with high levels of anxiety or with special needs may benefit from IV Sedation. Hospital general anesthesia can also be a good option for patients with extensive tooth decay or for patients who are undergoing surgical dental procedures.
The doctor can discuss the risks and benefits of either type of anesthesia to help you decide if this is a good choice for you.