Category Archives: Dental


What Is Non-conscious Sedation?

Sedation dentistry is the process of administering medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. There are two types of sedation, conscious and non-conscious. Based on the drug delivery method, conscious sedation may be classified as inhalation, oral, intravenous, and intramuscular sedation.

For inhalation sedation, nitrous oxide is used as the sedative. It is the most common technique used by dentists. It is regulated, has less side effects, and recovery is prompt.

Oral sedation is less expensive, but the recovery make take several hours. Patients may also experience side-effects such as nausea and vomiting.

Intravenous conscious sedation offers the fastest onset of action. It is usually recommended for long and invasive dental procedures

Lastly, intramuscular sedation is the least common type of sedation. It is usually administered to fearful children.

Another type of dental sedation is the non-conscious sedation, or otherwise known as general anesthesia. It is the recommended type of dental sedation performed by dentists for lengthy and invasive dental procedures or surgery. This type of sedation is only performed by trained professionals in a hospital setting.

Generally, the trained professional underwent at least two years of extensive training for this type of procedure. Usually, the anesthesiologist, dental anesthesiologist, or oral surgeon performs the procedure. Highly-trained professionals render this task since it has an increased risk involved, and a higher cost. The medicines used for general anesthesia are very costly. General anesthesia is administered either by inhalation using an anesthesia machine and/or using an IV medication. It will make you almost unconscious, or deeply asleep during the procedure.

In general anesthesia, the patient goes completely unconscious and cannot be easily awakened until the duration of action of the drug wears-off in the patient’s body. The patient is completely not aware of his or her surroundings, and will not remember anything about the procedure, just like being placed in some degree of amnesia.

It is important that the anesthetized patient’s vital signs be strictly monitored, including oxygen saturation, temperature, heartbeat, blood pressure, breathing rate, etc. Generally, it is probably safer to use this type of sedation during long dental procedures because the anesthesiologist can monitor the airway of the patient.

This type of sedation is best for patients with an underlying pathologic condition or illness that may affect the procedure. For example, a patient with Parkinson’s disease who needs to undergo a dental procedure, must be placed under general anesthesia because his or her underlying condition might affect his or her body’s movement control, thus making it hard for the dentist to proceed with the procedure. By being almost unconscious or in deep sleep, the dentist may effectively perform the procedure no matter how invasive or long it may take.

What Is Malocclusion?

Malocclusion is a condition where the upper and the lower teeth do not align properly. This condition is sometimes called poor bite. It is primarily caused by issues with the orientation and size of the jaw and teeth since childhood.

Most of the time, minor cases of malocclusion, like having a slight overbite, do not need treatment. However, if the malocclusion is severe, orthodontic treatment and surgery is necessary.

Causes of Malocclusion

Aside from genetics and inherent jaw structure, malocclusion tends to occur in thumb-sucking, finger-sucking, pacifier-using children. These habits may develop a poor bite in children since the upper teeth will be gradually pushed outward while the lower teeth are pushed inward.

Malocclusion Diagnosis

Typically, malocclusion is diagnosed by a licensed orthodontist. He or she will inspect the mouth, jaw and teeth. Plaster tooth models, facial and dental X-rays may be required for the orthodontist to make an accurate diagnosis.

A diagnosis of malocclusion can be made in children as young as 7 years old. It is best to treat malocclusion while still young since the bones are not yet fully developed during this stage.

Malocclusion Treatment

In children, malocclusion is treated with growth modification that will match their growth spurts. For two years, the child will need to wear dental appliance and braces that will align his teeth and jaw bones.

In adults, malocclusion is usually treatable with a cosmetic procedure, which can help align the teeth. Braces are commonly used for teeth alignment issues while jaw surgery is required if the malocclusion case is severe.

In both cases, children and adults will need to wear retainers after the treatment period. The retainers are used to ensure that the teeth do not drift back to their previous positions.

How Long Does Malocclusion Treatment Last?

For children, orthodontic treatment for malocclusion can last for about two years. It is recommended that children wear braces during their middle school years, and be done with the treatment before they enter high school.

For adults, malocclusion treatment can take at least two years or more. If your orthodontist recommends jaw surgery for you, healing and rehabilitation may take longer. Discuss with your dentist the course of treatment, and your possible options. You can also seek for a second opinion from another orthodontist if the present one recommends jaw surgery. This way, you will have an informed decision on which treatment plan to choose.

Treatment Costs

The cost for treating malocclusion can add up over the years since treatment will take at least two years. This also means repeated dentist visit fees over the course of the treatment period. Some dental insurance plans cover part of the cost of the treatment, but you still need to fork over some money from out of your own pocket.

The Conditions And Procedures Oral Surgeons Are Skilled In

Oral surgeons are skilled in a wide variety of different surgeries. Most people do not really know much about them to begin with, let alone the kind of skills and knowledge that they possess.

Learning more about the kind of surgeries that oral surgeons are capable of performing is a huge step towards understanding how to find proper oral healthcare. In today’s world, one can never be too careful or cautious. It is best to arm oneself with information as to avoid making a wrong move.

Thankfully, learning what oral surgeons are capable of will not take too long. Here is a brief rundown of the surgeries and work that oral surgeons can accomplish.

General Facial Surgery

Oral surgeons undergo extensive education and training in school. Not just anyone can become an oral surgeon. To acquire certification, an oral surgeon must undergo education from an accredited dental school, and earn a license in the state where they choose to practice. Only then may they get a certified diploma from the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery.

Oral surgeons also undergo an additional training in an accredited hospital for at least four years. In fact, oral surgeons train right alongside medical residents of general surgery, plastic surgery, advanced anesthesia, pathology, as well as medicine. Oral surgeons can treat patients in outpatient facilities, surgery centers, in a dental practice setting, as well as a hospital.

Cosmetic and Reconstructive Surgery

This is the line of work most people are shocked to learn about. Oral surgeons are actually capable of performing reconstructive or cosmetic surgery on a personâs face. They have the necessary skills and knowledge to perform the surgery.

The main difference between an oral surgeon and a plastic surgeon is that it is the latter’s main line of work, while it is something complimentary to the former. While capable, it must be understood that oral surgeons were trained and geared more towards oral health care. Those who are very conscious about their looks or the reconstruction of their face during surgery will do well to add a plastic surgeon to the dental team when undergoing a major surgery.

Placement of Dental Implants

Lost or impacted teeth need to be replaced. A tooth that has undergone so much loss and degeneration also needs some form of replacement. These are things that oral surgeons are trained for. Aside from general facial and reconstructive surgery, oral surgeons are trained in helping put dental implants into place.

It must be noted that they are not the professionals who are experts in smile design. These are things that are left to dental healthcare professionals who have undergone the right kind of training for it. Think of the oral surgeon as the engineer, and the dentists as the architects.

What Are Dental Implants?

A dental implant surgery can change your life. It can bring remarkable improvements to your oral health, psychological being, and smile. If you have lost a tooth or two, you can regain your original, beautiful smile with a dental implant. You will not have any difficulty with your implant because biting and chewing food still feel like the same as if you still have all your original teeth.

What Exactly Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is an artificial root made of titanium stubs fabricated specifically for replacing lost tooth. It is surgically fitted into bone tissues inside your jaw. An artificial tooth, or crown, is finally attached over it. It is a procedure commonly used to treat lost tooth due to periodontitis.

Dental implants may be attached individually or as a bridge implant when two or more teeth sitting together are missing. For individual teeth, implants are fitted into the bones without the need to connect them to neighboring teeth. For dentures, two or more implants can be bridged and placed inside the jaw. This is more rigorous compared to individual implants because the neighboring teeth need to be prepped. After implants are inserted inside, crowns on top of the teeth are affixed.

Types of Dental Implants

Dental implants are categorized into two major types which are the following:

1. Endosteal Implants: They are the most commonly used type of dental implants. They are formed like small screws, and are inserted into the bones of your teeth. They act as a replacement for the roots of your teeth.

2. Sub-Periosteal Implants: They are designed for the elderly, or for people with shallow jawbone. Jawbone can be rebuilt, but some people are not comfortable with it, so they prefer this type of implant which is simply attached over the jawbone.

During its conceptive stages, dental implant surgery was painful. Today, it is no longer agonizing to go through it. Dental surgeons and periodontists are better equipped and trained at doing a dental implant procedure nowadays.

Proper Care for Dental Implants

Dental implants do not require special attention like other dental procedures. Like with how you care for your natural teeth, dental implants only need regular brushing, flossing, and visits to your dentists. However, dentists may advise you to avoid over-exerting your artificial tooth crown. You should avoid eating chewy and hard food.

How Much Is the Cost of a Dental Implant?

A dental implant may cost you from $500 to $6,000. It depends on what type of dental implant you are getting, and the professional care you will be hiring. Operation for a single tooth implant can cost up to $2,000. Dental plans do not usually cover implant surgeries, so cost has to be paid by patients.

For a more informed choice and to know the best available option for you, consult with your dentist.