Advantages of Oral Sedation

benefits of oral sedation - St. Pete Dentist

Advantages of Oral Sedation

Oral sedation can offer many benefits to patients who feel uncomfortable going to their St. Pete dentists. There are a number of types of dental sedation, including nitrous oxide, IV sedation and oral. Fortunately for you, Dr. Leeson offers a wide range of oral sedation. While nitrous oxide and IV sedation are administered in Dr. Leeson’s St. Pete dental office, oral sedatives are pills taken prior to the appointment so that patients feel a reduction in anxiety and stress. In this article, we discuss some of the key advantages of oral sedation over other types of dental sedation.

Key Advantages of Oral Sedation with Dr. Leeson

When you visit the best dentist in St. Petersburg, FL, you’ll learn that there are several key advantages about oral sedation to consider.

Oral Sedation is Simple

Oral sedation is easily administered and is done so without the use of needles. Dr. Ben Kacos, an emergency dentist in Shreveport, LA, adds that some patients may fear needles, which is why oral sedation may be the perfect option. Oral sedation is administrated in a pill or liquid form and is taken about an hour prior to the appointment. By the time that you arrive to your appointment, you’ll be feeling nice and relaxed.

Oral Sedation Keeps You Calm and Cool

Oral sedation can have an amnesia effect on patients. The strong dosage used can lead some patients to have very little to no memory at all of their time in the chair being treated. This is a great option for patients who struggle with fear of the dentist, as they will have zero recollection of what took place during the procedure. 

Oral sedation will relax and calm you, but you will still be able to be responsive when your St. Pete dentists ask you questions or provides instruction. You may feel drowsy but you are not likely to fall asleep during the procedure. 

Oral Sedation is Safe

Oral sedation is very safe. The medications used as oral sedatives are monitored and regulated by the FDA. Any and all side effects are well-defined, and it is very unlikely that you will experience any serious side-effects from the oral sedation. You will be closely monitored during the entire procedure. Your safety and comfort are always the priority when you’re in our St. Pete dental office.

It’s completely normal to have a fear of the dentist but don’t let it stop you from keeping up with your oral health. Pushing off dental treatment can make the issue worse. Not only will this be uncomfortable for you, but it’ll be more costly. Oral sedation will help nervous and fearful patients to relax during checkups, professional dental cleanings, and restorative treatments. If you find yourself avoiding your St. Pete dentist, give our dental office a call. Dr. Leeson and his team will work closely with you to provide the best experience possible. Whether you’re looking for a dentist to treat a toothache or a cosmetic dentist, St. Pete dentist Dr. Leeson will help to ensure you are comfortable every step of the way.

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

must-knows about dental crowns

Must-Knows About Dental Crowns

You may have undergone root canal therapy recently, or you may have teeth that are severely worn down. These and other conditions may have led your dentist in St. Petersburg FL to recommend you get a dental crown. However, you are hesitant because you have limited information about these restorations. Here is a brief guide on everything you need to know about dental crowns so that you can make an informed decision about the suitability of these restorations for your needs.

Dental Crowns Defined

A tooth can be divided into two main parts. The first part that is visible below the gum line in upper teeth and above the gum line in lower teeth is called the crown. The second part, hidden beneath the gum line, is called the root of the tooth.

A dental crown is a restoration that covers most or all of the visible parts of your tooth. Dr. Brian Leeson, who performs cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL, points out that dental crowns may also be called dental caps.

Terms Associated with Crowns

The Margin. A margin refers to the edge of a dental crown that comes in contact with a tooth that has been prepared for this restoration. Dentists in St. Petersburg FL say that margins have to be smooth and devoid of ledges so they can sit firmly on the tooth.

Cusps. These are the pointed segments on the teeth that tear and chew food. A dental crown is necessary to repair a tooth whose cusps have been damaged due to root canal therapy or a fracture.

Crown Preparation. This refers to the design made of a tooth once that tooth has been shaved to create room for a dental crown. Dr. Ben Kacos, a dentist in Shreveport LA, asserts that the extent to which a tooth is prepared depends on several factors. Some of these factors include the extent to which the tooth is damaged and the material the dental crown will be fabricated with.

Temporary or Provisional Crown. As the name suggests, this is a crown that is designed to be used for a short time. This is during the time when the permanent crown is being made by a dental lab. However, practitioners of cosmetic dentistry in St. Petersburg FL may deliberately leave a temporary crown in place for an extended duration. This would be the case if you have tooth pain and the dentist wants to leave that provisional crown until the pain subsides.

When Would You Need a Dental Crown?

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry point out that many situations warrant the use of a crown to restore a tooth. The examples below show some of those situations.

When You Get a Large Filling. St. Pete dentists normally recommend a crown if you require a filling that covers at least half of the width of your tooth. A crown is necessary in this case because what is left of your natural tooth is normally so weak that it is likely to fracture. A crown restores strength to such a tooth.

Root Canal Therapy. After a root canal treatment, what is left of your tooth is likely to become brittle and fracture after the infected or dead tissue inside the tooth is cleaned out. To maintain the structural integrity of your tooth, Dr. Leeson will recommend a dental crown to be placed immediately after the root canal procedure.

Excessive Tooth Wear. Many factors, such as bruxism and GERD (gastrointestinal acid reflux), can cause teeth to be worn down excessively. As the teeth wear down, they become shorter and the best way to get them back to their normal size is by visiting 4th Street Family Dentistry to have crowns placed on those teeth.

Undesirable Appearance. If you are unhappy about the appearance of your teeth (due to discoloration, shape or gaps, for example), you may need dental crowns to fix those imperfections. Alternatively, the St. Pete dentist may opt for veneers as a better way to fix the cosmetic dental problems you face.

Steps to Getting Dental Crowns

First, the team at 4th Street Family Dentistry will use a local anesthetic to numb the area around the tooth. When the anesthesia kicks in, Dr. Brian Leeson will shave down the tooth in order to make space for the crown.

Thereafter, the 4th Street Family Dentistry team will take an impression of the tooth using a digital scanner or a putty-like mold. This mold, together with the shade picked from a color guide, will be sent to a lab so that your customized crown can be fabricated.

Before you leave the dental office, the dental care team will place temporary crowns on the prepared teeth. This is so the prepared surfaces can be preserved and your teeth can be safeguarded from damage while you wait for the permanent crowns.

About two weeks later, you will be contacted by 4th Street Family Dentistry to return for your second visit. This is when the permanent crowns will be placed. During this visit, Dr. Leeson will remove the temporary crowns and replace them with permanent ones. Next, Dr. Leeson will inspect these crowns to confirm they fit well, have smooth margins, and don’t cause any bite problems. A special light is then used to cure the permanent cement used to attach the crown to your tooth.

Is the Procedure Painful?

The local anesthetic used as a crown is placed on your tooth ensures that the process is pain-free. When the anesthesia wears off, you may feel some discomfort. However, that can be alleviated with the pain medication prescribed by your dentist in St. Petersburg FL. You can then start enjoying the benefits of your brand new crown.

Still Have Questions?

Contact 4th Street Family Dentistry today and get answers to all your questions. Our experienced staff will go through all your options and recommend the best way to treat any dental issues you may have to achieve the smile of your dreams.

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

how to prevent tooth decay

How to Prevent Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is also referred to as caries or dental cavities. It describes permanent damage to the hard outer surface of your teeth that results in holes or tiny openings. Research shows that nine in ten adults in the U.S. have ever had cavities, so this makes tooth decay one of the most common health problems people of all ages face. Should you, therefore, resign to having this problem as part of your reality? Our dental care experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL don’t think so and urge you to implement the following recommendations to keep tooth decay at bay.

Brush Properly, Regularly and Using the Right Toothbrush

The simplest things, like brushing correctly and frequently, can have the most profound positive effect on your dental and overall health.

Dr. Brian Leeson, a dentist in St. Petersburg FL, explains that there are millions of microbes in your mouth. These microbes feed on the remains of what you eat or drink. As the bacteria feeds, it creates an acidic biofilm (plaque) that sticks on your teeth. If you don’t brush regularly (at least two times every day), dental plaque will allow bacteria to remain in contact with your teeth for longer and tooth decay will progress rapidly.

It is therefore important for you to brush correctly using the right toothbrush (a soft-bristled one) using fluoride toothpaste for a minimum of two times each day. This way the plaque-formation process can be halted.

Floss Every Day

Brushing is often inadequate in cleaning the spaces between your teeth. An interdental cleaner, such as dental floss, is necessary to get rid of the food debris trapped in these tiny spaces between your teeth. When done correctly, flossing can prevent cavities since bacteria will not have any food to feed on and grow.

Cut Back on Acidic and Sugary Drinks

We have already mentioned that bacteria feeds on the residues of what you put in your mouth. Acidic and sugary drinks are the worst culprits in terms of allowing bacteria colonies to multiply rapidly.

For this reason, St. Pete dentists recommend that you reduce the amount of sugary or acidic drinks you consume. These substances include soda, citrus juice, and alcohol. Such a step will save your teeth from being attacked by the acids in those drinks or the acidic residues left behind.

Eat Healthy

Proper nutrition is important in keeping tooth decay and other dental health problems at bay. For example, the vitamins and minerals that are contained in vegetables, fruits, dairy, and other food groups will provide the nutrients needed to mineralize your teeth. This means your teeth are more likely to fight off any infections that develop.

In the same vein, emergency dentists in St. Petersburg advise that you refrain from snacking frequently between meals. This is especially true if you like sugary snacks. Those snacks keep sugar on your teeth and that results in acidic damage to the surface of those teeth.

Visit Your Dentist

It is very important for you to visit your dentist in St. Petersburg FL regularly for dental cleanings and checkups.

A comprehensive exam by a St. Pete dentist will rate your tooth decay risk. That assessment will determine how frequently you need to visit 4th Street Family Dentistry. For example, if an existing medical condition increases your risk for tooth decay, Dr. Brian Leeson may recommend you come in every three or four months. If, however, your risk for cavities is low, then the frequency of visiting a general dentist in St. Petersburg FL will be lower.

The other advantage of visiting the dentist regularly is that the hygienist will have an opportunity to advise you on how to tweak your brushing and flossing techniques. This would be in light of any potential problem areas that are observed during the professional dental cleanings. Acting on the advice given will result in a reduced risk for tooth decay.

Get Dental Sealants

Another key way to reduce the chance of developing tooth decay is by getting dental sealants placed on the chewing surfaces of your back teeth. The sealant forms a protective shield that prevents acids and bacteria from damaging the teeth. Dr. Beth Herko, a dentist in New Providence NJ, says that while dental sealants are very common among kids, people of all ages, including adults, can benefit from them.

Use Mouthwash

If you are particularly prone to tooth decay, the St. Pete dentist may recommend an antimicrobial mouthwash. You can use this on a daily basis to keep bacterial activity minimal in your mouth. Even without a specific recommendation, you can buy an antibacterial over-the-counter mouthwash. Use this to rinse your mouth at home after brushing and flossing.

Chew Sugar-Free Gum

Sugar-free gum is helpful in fighting to keep cavities at bay. This gum helps increase the production of saliva in your mouth, thereby neutralizing any acids quickly. Saliva also regulates the pH levels in your mouth. This means that it gets harder for bacteria to thrive there. Buy sugarless gum that has the ADA (American Dental Association) seal of approval. 

You don’t have to fight tooth decay on your own. We are here to help, so don’t hesitate to contact 4th Street Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment for a complete evaluation. Your healthy smile is just a call away!

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

What to expect during a dental visit - 4th Street Family Dentistry

What to Expect During a Dental Visit

It’s recommended that you visit your dentist in St. Petersburg, Fl, every six months for a comprehensive exam and cleaning. These visits are necessary for optimal oral health. In this article, we discuss what happens during these routine dental visits.

Your Routine Dental Checkup Visit

As already mentioned, this visit normally occurs every six months or at intervals recommended by your general dentist in St. Petersburg, FL. You can expect the following to take place at your next visit with 4th Street Family Dentistry.

The Professionals Who Will See You

You are likely to be treated by two professionals, a dental hygienist, and your St. Pete dentist. Our hygienist is the first professional who will see you. He or she will examine your gums and note down any parts of your mouth that need to be looked at more. The hygienist will also document any changes to medication that you are taking for any health conditions that you have. Then, they will talk to you about your brushing and flossing techniques. Your hygienist will then clean and polish your teeth thoroughly.  

Once those questions have been answered, your St. Pete dentist will come to see you. Dr. Brian Leeson will examine your oral structures and look into any concerns you or your hygienist had during the initial exam. He will also review how well the hygienist cleaned your teeth, and the dentist will conduct further checks, such as for oral cancer and any other disease. If any oral health problems are observed, Dr. Brian Leeson will make treatment recommendations and discuss them with you. You will also have an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your oral health.

Teeth Cleaning

While you can keep the accumulation of plaque minimal by flossing and brushing at home, only a professional can clean your teeth and remove the tartar (hardened plaque) that inevitably builds up. Your hygienist uses a variety of metallic hand tools to clean your teeth thoroughly. Dental professionals recommend getting a dental cleaning every six months.

Teeth Polishing

Your hygienist at 4th Street Family Dentistry will then polish your teeth using a mild abrasive and fluoride. This leaves the surface of your teeth sparkling clean and free from calculus. 

Educational Information

The hygienist is also likely to give you further instructions on how you can take better care of your oral health at home. These instructions will arise from the observations made during the initial exam and the queries you raise as the hygienist is attending to you. The general care instructions are also likely to be brought up by Dr. Brian Leeson as he talks to you.

X-Rays

You may or may not need to have x-rays done during your routine dental visit to 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL. The decision to have x-rays done will depend on your dental history, the results of the oral exam and your level of cavity risk.

Treatment Recommendations

If the oral health exam reveals a dental health problem, Dr. Brian Leeson, a general dentist in St. Petersburg, will recommend the most appropriate measures to take to deal with that problem. For example, he may ask you to come back to the dental office to have cavities filled or he may refer you to a specialist (such as an orthodontist) for the care you need.

Undergoing a Comprehensive Dental Exam

Dr. Brian Leeson explains that patients normally undergo comprehensive dental exams when they visit a new dentist or it’s time for their annual checkup. This exam may include some of the following:

Soft Tissue Examination

The tongue, the roof, and the floor of your mouth, and the inside surface of the cheeks and lips constitute the soft tissues inside your mouth. The dentist in St. Petersburg will take a close look at these soft tissues. Additionally, Dr. Leeson will look at the back of your mouth to check for any lesions, growths, swelling, or cuts that could point to a potential oral health issue.

Gum Tissue

Dr. Brian Leeson, an emergency dentist in St. Petersburg, will pay special attention when examining your gums and other support tissues around your teeth. Any sign of gum disease, such as swollen or red gums, may prompt the St. Pete dentist to recommend immediate treatment or refer you to a specialist.

Occlusion

This refers to how well your lower and upper teeth come together when you close your mouth. Georgetown KY dentists at ThoroughDent Smiles explain that occlusion can be examined by asking you to bite down on a piece of wax so that the impression left is analyzed. Alternatively, the dentist in St. Petersburg may simply look at the way the teeth meet to ascertain whether you have any occlusion problems. 

Clinical Teeth Examination

The experts at 4th Street Family Dentistry in St. Petersburg FL will also look at each of your teeth during this comprehensive exam. The purpose of this close examination is to check for cavities or to confirm that any dental work (crowns, fillings, and dentures, for example) are defect-free. St. Pete dentists often use dental explorers to identify which sections of enamel are healthy and which bits are decayed.

X-Rays

You are also likely to have dental x-rays done during a comprehensive dental exam. These help the dental care professionals take a close look at your teeth and other structures, like the roots of the teeth. In this way, tooth decay, cavities, periodontal disease, and other dental health problems will be caught early. As you can see, the specific activities that will be focused upon during your oral exam will depend on whether it is a routine dental visit or a comprehensive exam visit. When was the last time you visited your dentist? If you have taken more than 6 months, call today to schedule an appointment at 4th Street Family Dentistry so that Dr. Brian Leeson and the team can examine you. You will be given treatment recommendations so that your oral health can be maintained at peak levels.