By The Foundry Dental Center
November 18, 2014
Category: Uncategorized
Tags: sedation dentistry  

This common fear can be eliminated through the use of sedation dentistry.

Some patients can come in and out of the dentist without thinking twice about it. It feels no different than running to the grocery store or commuting to work; however, for others, anxiety can sneak up the minute your dentist calls with a friendly reminder about your next visit. You don’t want to feel stressed out over your appointment but you’re not quite sure how to stop it. Do you experience any of these symptoms?

  • You’re nervous or have problems sleeping the night before your dental appointment
  • Your nerves get the better of you in the waiting room
  • Thinking about the dentist makes you feel like crying
  • Visualizing dental tools makes you anxious
  • You feel physically sick whenever you think about your upcoming visit
  • You feel panicky or having problems breathing while in the dental chair

If any of the experiences above sound familiar to you, it could be dental anxiety. You aren’t alone! We’ve worked with many anxious patients before. Through the use of sedation dentistry we can give patients a stress-free and relaxing dental experience. Here are the types of sedation we offer:

Oral Sedation: This is the most common and popular option for many of our patients because all it requires is swallowing a pill. Some of the most often prescribed medications include Valium®, Halcion® and Versed®. These medications have been studied and tested for safety and efficacy. Some have even been known to produce amnesic effects, meaning you may remember little to nothing about your appointment.

Inhalation Sedation: Better known as nitrous oxide or “laughing gas”, this sedation is administered through the nose. This is not meant to be a pain reliever, however. This is primarily to help relieve anxiety during your visit. Oxygen is combined with nitrous oxide to give you a pleasant and euphoric experience without the side effects that you might get with other medications.

IV Conscious Sedation: This sedative is administered into the bloodstream so the effects are almost instantaneous and significantly strong than the other two forms of sedation. With this immediate effect, it’s important that we monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and breathing while under IV sedation. The biggest advantage of this sedation is that it is fast acting and highly effective. Again, while under IV sedation you won’t remember anything about your procedure upon waking.

Sedation dentistry in Bessemer has helped countless patients overcome their fear of the dentist. It could help you, too. If you’re interested in finding out more about how sedation could make your next visit easier, give us a call.

By The Foundry Dental Center
November 04, 2014
Category: Oral Health

When her daughter Ashby was born in 2007, Nancy O'Dell was overjoyed; but she found the experience of pregnancy to be anxiety-provoking. O'Dell is host of the popular entertainment news show Entertainment Tonight.

After her baby was born she compiled her memories and thoughts into a book for first-time pregnant mothers. The book, “Full of Life: Mom to Mom Tips I Wish Someone Had Told Me When I Was Pregnant,” covers a wide range of topics — including oral health during pregnancy.

“While my dental health has always been relatively normal, pregnancy did cause me some concern about my teeth and gums. With my dentist's advice and treatment, the few problems I had were minimized,” O'Dell told Dear Doctor magazine. An example of her experience is a craving for milk that started at about the time the baby's teeth began to form. She felt that her body was telling her to consume more calcium.

As often happens with pregnant mothers, she developed sensitive gums and was diagnosed with “pregnancy gingivitis,” the result of hormonal changes that increase blood flow to the gums.

“I love to smile,” said O'Dell, “and smiles are so important to set people at ease, like when you walk into a room of people you don't know. When you genuinely smile you're able to dissolve that natural wall that exists between strangers.”

Contact us today to schedule an appointment to discuss your questions about dental health during pregnancy. You can also learn more by reading the Dear Doctor magazine article “Nancy O'Dell.”

By The Foundry Dental Center
October 20, 2014
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: laser dentistry  

Lasers have transformed our everyday lives, especially in healthcare. These intense beams of light of a single wavelength have revolutionized all manner of diagnostics and treatments, from general surgery to cosmetic therapy.

Dentistry has also been influenced by the laser revolution. Here are just a few of the areas where they’re growing in use and popularity.

Early disease detection. Laser instruments can take advantage of “fluorescence,” the tendency of bacteria to “glow” when exposed to certain wavelengths of light. This is proving more effective in detecting early tooth decay in pits and fissures (very tiny areas in a tooth’s biting surface) than traditional needle-like probing instruments called dental explorers. Newer lasers can now detect the same fluorescent qualities in soft tissues, which may reduce the detection time for oral cancer and make the difference between life and death.

Dental caries treatment. Lasers have become an alternative to the dental drill in treating teeth with dental caries (decay). Although with larger cavities lasers are somewhat slower than the conventional drill, they truly shine when it comes to early enamel caries and small cavities because they can be quite precise in the amount of tooth structure they remove. This feature allows them to be less invasive than a dental drill.

Periodontal treatment. Periodontal (gum) disease is an infection caused mainly by bacterial plaque and calculus (hardened plaque deposits) that have adhered to tooth surfaces. Lasers are emerging as an alternative to conventional periodontal (gum) surgery to treat voids or spaces below the gum line called periodontal pockets that have formed because of gum tissue detachment as supporting bone is lost. With their ability to target and destroy infected tissue without damaging nearby healthy tissue, lasers can achieve similar outcomes as traditional techniques but with less tissue damage and discomfort to patients afterward.

Research and development into laser technology continues to perfect these and other applications that promise to make dental procedures less invasive and more comfortable for patients.

If you would like more information on the use of lasers in dentistry, please contact us or schedule an appointment for a consultation.

By The Foundry Dental Center
October 20, 2014
Category: Oral Health

Here's an interesting tidbit of information on Wheel of Fortune host Vanna White: like many people, she grinds her teeth at night. In a detailed interview with Dear Doctor magazine, Vanna explained how she had to replace a filling in a back tooth several times because of her grinding habit. Eventually, she had her dentist make her a nightguard to protect her famous smile.

“I really try to sleep with it every night,” Vanna told the magazine. “I try to keep it on my nightstand so when I go to bed, I remember to put it in. Or I will put it by my toothbrush so I can put it in after brushing my teeth at night.”

The habit of teeth grinding or clenching is often associated with stress and/or sleep deprivation. It is referred to as “parafunctional” (“para” – outside, “function” – normal), meaning it can generate biting forces well outside the normal range — perhaps 10 times normal. This excessive force can affect many areas of the oral system. Teeth may become worn, chipped or loose; jaw joints or muscles can go into spasm; and some grinders (or “bruxers” as they are also called) may even experience discomfort of the head, ears, neck or back. Many times, a person with a grinding habit does not become aware of it until it is pointed out by a sleep partner or dental professional.

Like Vanna White's dentist, we often recommend a nightguard to those with nocturnal bruxing habits. It is made of a very thin, wear-resistant plastic that fits over the biting surfaces of the upper teeth only. The lower teeth are then free to glide or skate over the guard, which prevents them from biting into the upper teeth. Some people wear their guards during the day if they tend to clench their teeth when under stress.

If you are concerned about teeth grinding or interested in learning more about nightguards, please contact us today to schedule an appointment for a consultation. If you would like to read Dear Doctor's entire interview with Vanna White, please see “Vanna White.” Dear Doctor also has more on “Stress & Tooth Habits.”

By The Foundry Dental Center
October 06, 2014
Category: Oral Health
Cigarette smoking is the most common form of tobacco use. In 2012, it was reported that 42 million people in the U.S. were active smokers, and this addictive habit can do more than damage your lungs—it can cause tooth decay, jawbone recession, gum disease and oral cancer.

How Does Smoking Lead to Dental Problems?

Tobacco products can affect the relationship between gum tissue and teeth. Studies have shown that tobacco interferes with gum tissue cells and their normal function. If gum tissue cells can’t function properly, it’s difficult for blood flow to the gums. Ultimately, it’s hard for the body to fight off bacteria and infection in the mouth, resulting in gum disease and other problems. Plus, smoking increases plaque buildup on the teeth, and this can break down the enamel and start cavities.

Benefits of Quitting woman at the dentist

Besides the lowered risk of lung cancer, quitting smoking can be beneficial for other reasons:
  • Breathe easier
  • Feel healthier
  • Reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, gum disease, and oral cancer
  • Gets rid of bad breath
  • Helps keep tooth stains at bay
  • Reduces plaque buildup


What We Strive to Do

Life is full of bumps and sharp turns, and sometimes we all could use a helping hand. At Foundry Dental Center, we help provide restorative dental services to the Bessemer community. It’s also our mission to restore the smiles of patients in addiction recovery programs.
If you want to know more about general or implant dentistry, please call the Foundry Dental Center at (205) 434-2031.  

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