4 Myths About Sedation Dentistry Debunked

Sedation dentistry is a newer form of dentistry that is designed to help patients feel calmer and comfortable while in the dentist chair. If you have a hard time getting yourself to the dentist because you’re so anxious about the what-ifs of your cleaning or procedure, then one form or another of sedation dentistry may help do the trick. To help you learn a little bit more about it, we have created a list debunking a few common myths.

Myth: Sedation Dentistry is Only for Patients with Anxiety

Although sedation dentistry is primarily used to treat patients who have a lot of anxiety, it is also used on patients who are elderly, who have a disability, or who want to feel relaxed while getting some dental work done.

Myth: Sedation Dentistry Is Only For Complex Surgeries

The unique thing about sedation dentistry is that it’s designed to help ease patients with all ranges of anxieties which are getting a variety of different procedures. For instance, a lot of patients have anxiety about dental cleanings, and so we might use a mild form of sedation to help ease their fears. Sedation dentistry can be used for small procedures or large ones.

Myth: You Will Be Unconscious

Our goal with sedation dentistry is to take the edge off and help you feel relaxed during your procedure. Even though we can completely sedate you, that’ s usually not necessary. In fact, we can generally use a mild sedative like valium or laughing gas, which means that you will be calm but completely conscious.

Myth: It’s Not Necessary

To some people who don’t have anxiety, they may think that sedation dentistry isn’t necessary, but if you are a patient with anxiety, you would agree to disagree. If your stress and dental fears are getting in the way of you getting regular cleanings or dental work done, then sedation dentistry is necessary. Look at it this way; if sedation dentistry helps us give you the proper dental work that you need, then it’s a must.

Are you interested in learning more about sedation dentistry? If so, contact us at our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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Is Your Toothbrush Doing Its Job?

brushing TMJ steven e. holbrook DMD albuqurque NM

The most basic thing that you can do to take care of your teeth is to brush them at least twice a day. But, because brushing your teeth is so basic, it may not be something that you necessarily put a lot of thought into— especially when it comes to your actual toothbrush. So, how can you make sure that your toothbrush is actually doing its job?

Fancier Isn’t Always Better

You may think that if you spend hundreds of dollars on a vibrating toothbrush that you are getting the cleanest mouth around, but just because a toothbrush has a high price tag on it, it doesn’t mean that it’s going to get your mouth any cleaner. In fact, we have seen a lot of patents get just as clean of teeth with a regular toothbrush than with an electric toothbrush.

Bristles Need to Be Intact

Do you brush your teeth while trying to get laundry done, cleaning your kitchen, or writing a bunch of emails? If you do, then you probably bite down on your toothbrush which can make your bristles all disheveled. When your bristles aren’t in good shape, they are definitely not going to be able to do their job to keep your mouth clean. If you can’t kick your habit of biting down on your toothbrush to the curb, then make sure that you replace your toothbrush more often.

Strong Enough Bristles

You used to be able to buy soft, medium, and hard bristled toothbrushes but now you can usually only find soft bristled toothbrushes. Why?Because hard bristled toothbrushes were too abrasive and were eroding away at enamel and causing bleeding gums. The trick though, is finding a toothbrush that is hard enough to get plaque off your teeth without being so abrasive tha tit auss damae.

It may sound basic, but knowing what to look for in a toothbrush can really save your oral health. If you want to learn more tips and tricks, contact our Albuquerque office today at (505) 881-1159.

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Why You May Want to Give Sedation Dentistry a Try

Sedation Dentistry Albuquerque NMOne of the number one things (other than a healthy smile) that Dr. Holbrook and our staff want for our patients is to be relaxed and calm during their appointment. But because coming to the dentist isn’t exactly something that most people would classify as relaxing, we may recommend sedation dentistry.

What’s Sedation Dentistry Used for?

Yes, sedation dentistry is used to help you get rid of your jitters, but it’s also used for some other things as well. Specifically, we may recommend it to help patients who:

  • Have a bad gag reflex
  • Have a low pain tolerance
  • Need a lot of dental work
  • Have sensitive teeth
  • Cannot stay still

What types of sedation options are out there?

When it comes to sedation, it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all sort of deal. Depending on the procedure you are having and how much anxiety you are going through, it will help us determine which route is best to take. Options include:

  • CONSCIOUS SEDATION

This is the most common form of sedating that we use because it allows patients to still remain awake and respond to Dr. Holbrook while also staying relaxed.

  • DEEP SEDATION

If you have a lot of anxiety, then we may recommend deep sedation. This level of sedation is a state that is somewhere between conscious and unconsciousness which is a good medium.

  • UNCONSCIOUSNESS

Occasionally, general anesthesia is necessary in oral surgery cases, but it is riskier so we try not to use it.

If you think that dental sedation is something that’s worth trying out to calm your nerves, contact us at our Albuquerque office and call us at (505) 881-1159.

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3 Tips to Speed Up Your Dental Implant Recovery

Dental ImplantsHaving one or more missing teeth isn’t exactly anybody’s idea of a good time, but it is a lot of people’s reality. Having missing teeth doesn’t just make you look a little less than perfect but it can also have more detrimental impacts on the health of your mouth. When you have a missing tooth, it can lead to deterioration of the jaw bone and it can also result in shifting teeth. To prevent this from happening, we have a variety of different restorative options including dental implants.

 

What Are Dental Implants?

Dental implants are one of the most popular types of restorative dentistry because they give patients an almost permanent way to restore their smile without having to worry about things like dental bridges or dentures. As a two step process, we will first surgically implant a rod into your gums which will require several months of healing. To make sure that your mouth heals fully, let’s go over a few tips.

 

Watch What You Eat

For the first few days after your implant has been placed, we encourage our patients to be especially mindful of foods they eat. For instance, try to avoid foods that are hard to chew or that are hard in general. Why? Because they may open up your incisions which can lead to things like infections.

 

Take Some NSAIDs

If you are in a little bit of pain or if your mouth is swollen, that’s pretty normal. To help you get rid of any pain or swelling, try to take some over-the-counter anti inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen for the first few days; this should do the trick and help you feel better in no time.

 

Use Ice

If you have a lot of swelling on your cheeks, then you should ice. Just make sure that you wrap the ice pack in a towel or cloth so that it doesn’t give your cheeks a burn.

 

Healing from dental implants doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, it shouldn’t be much of a process at all. If you notice any signs of infection like more swelling, pain, or irritation on your gums, then contact us. To learn more about dental implants and recovery, contact us at our office today and call us at  (505) 881-1159.

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How to Spring Clean Your Smile

Dental Cleanings Albuquerque NM While your neighbors are spring cleaning and getting rid of thing in their garages and basements, you can take spring cleaning to a whole new level and take better care of your smile. From getting a thorough dental cleaning to getting your teeth professionally whitened, let’s take a closer look at a few tips from Dr. Holbrook to help you get a more vibrant smile.

Thorough Cleaning

The best way to spring clean your smile is to get your teeth professionally cleaned. During your cleaning, Dr. Holbrook will scrape off any tartar and plaque build up on your teeth, check for cavities, take some ex-rays, and then polish your teeth. As long as you are cavity-free and there are no signs of gum disease or other issues, you are good to go!

Whiten

Another way that you can get a more vibrant smile this spring is to get your teeth professionally whitened. Whether we use our Opalescence at-home bleaching trays or our power whitening treatment, we can help you get visibly whiter and brighter teeth in virtually no time at all. Plus, we will make sure that you have a system that you can use at home to touch up your teeth so that you don’t get any extensive stains.

Drink More Water

After you have had your teeth cleaned and whitened, one of the best ways for you to keep them clean is to drink more water. If you normally drink a lot of coffee and tea, you may actually be staining your teeth which is the last thing that you want. But, by getting into the habit of drinking more water, you can help keep your teeth in the best shape possible.

These three tips are easy ways for you to essentially spring clean your smile. If you want to learn a little bit more about how you can take better care of your teeth, schedule a consultation with us at our Albuquerque office and call (505) 881-1159.

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Signs of Gum Disease

Gum Disease, Albuquerque, NM There are few things that you want in life like a good job, a healthy family, and maybe a trip to the beach every year, but there are lots of things that you don’t want anything to do with like gum disease. As one of the most common oral conditions that Dr. Holbrook sees patients for, if you have gum disease, you certainly are not alone. But before you self diagnose yourself with this oral condition, there are a few signs for you to look out for.

  • Red, swollen, bleeding, tender gums- These are the most common symptoms of gum disease. If you are the type of person who only flosses on occasion, then you may experience red, swollen, tender gums when you start flossing again. However, if you floss on a regular basis or if these symptoms don’t subside, then it may be an indication that you have gum disease.
  • Receding Gums- In more advanced stages of gum disease, some patients start to notice that their gums are pulling away from the teeth which causes them to look longer than before. If this goes untreated, it can result in loose or separating teeth.
  • Pus in between your gums and teeth- This is a big indication that you either have gum disease or you have another sort of oral infection.
  • Persistent bad breath- Having bad breath after you eat a garlic burger or if you haven’t brushed your teeth in a few hours is normal, but having persistent bad breath isn’t.
  • A change in the way your teeth fit together when you bite or the way your partial dentures fit- In advanced stages of gum disease, patients experience shifts in the way that their teeth or dentures fit together which isn’t something you should necessarily be experiencing.

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed in this article, make sure that you contact Dr. Holbrook today and schedule an appointment. To learn more or to schedule your next appointment, contact us at our Albuquerque at (505) 881-1159.

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Going on Spring Break? How to Take Good Care of Your Smile While You’re Gone

Dental Care, Albuquerque, NMSpring break vacation is the perfect time of year to escape the mundane and head somewhere tropical or just change up your scenery. Before you head out of town, Dr. Holbrook has created a packing list of things for you to bring so that you don’t come back with a mouthful of cavities.

Travel Toothbrush

The number one thing that you need to bring with you on vacation is a toothbrush. But, if you feel like your toothbrush is too bulky to travel with, then consider getting a travel toothbrush. Travel toothbrushes usually have a removable handle that you can fold into your toothbrush or place over the top of the bristles so that they take up less room.

Gum

If you are flying on a long flight, then make sure to you bring a pack of sugar -ree chewing gum with you. Even though chewing gum isn’t a toothbrush and toothpaste, it can help to increase your mouth’s production of saliva which works to clean your teeth and get rid of plaque and tartar. Plus, gum is one of the best ways to fight bad breath!

Water Flosser

Water flossers used to be bulky and the last thing that you would bring with you on vacation. Luckily, they are now wireless and a lot smaller which means that they are ideal to travel with.

If you are the type of person who hates to floss everyday— especially on vacation— then bring a water flosser with you; that way you get your gums and teeth as clean as possible.

To fully enjoy your spring break trip, make sure that you don’t leave your oral health behind. To learn more about these and other tips, contact Dr. Holbrook at our Albuquerque office and call us at (505) 881-1159.

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Let’s Get Down to the Root of Root Canals

Root Canal | Albuquerque NMIf you recently came into our office and found out that you have to get a root canal, you may be wondering what on earth that means for you and your mouth. To help you understand a little bit more about this procedure, we have created a list answering some frequently asked questions.

 

 

FAQ: Why Do I Need a Root Canal?

You may not realize it, but your tooth is made up of three main layers; the enamel, the dentin, and the pulp. Sometimes, when a patient has a cavity (a hole in their tooth) bacteria can enter into the pulp where all of the nerves are which causes an infection. In order to save the tooth, the pulp, nerves, bacteria, and decay are removed with a procedure called a root canal.

FAQ: How Is a Root Canal Done?

During a root canal, we will start out by numbing your tooth and surrounding gums. Once the tooth is numb, we will place a sheet of rubber around the tooth to keep it dry and free of saliva. Then, we will make an opening on the top of the tooth so that we can remove the pulp, nerve tissue, decay, and bacteria. Once the tooth has been thoroughly cleaned, will will then seal it with a permanent or temporary filling. Then, at your next appointment which is usually a week later, the roots and the inside of the tooth will be filled and sealed using special dental materials.

FAQ: What Is Recovery Like?

For the most part, recovery after a root canal is fairly basic. On average, patients may have a little bit of tenderness and swelling but that should subside after just a couple of days. To help ease inflammation and pain, you can take an over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drug like ibuprofen.

Even though a root canal may not be familiar to you, it is something that we perform on a regular basis. To learn more about root canals and what you can expect from yours, contact us at our Albuquerque office and call us at (505) 881-1159.

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3 Tips to Teach Your Kids When They Are Learning How to Brush

Dental Health. Albuquerque, NMAs a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your kids just about everything they know. Even though those disgusting habits like picking their noses may not be something you want people to think they learned from you, having good oral habits is something that you should be proud of. To make sure that your kids learn all of the tools they need to have a healthier and happier smile, let’s take a closer look at a few tips that you can teach them.

Flossing

Flossing is the first step to get your mouth clean and although you may not be able to teach your little kids how to use traditional dental floss, you can get them small flossers which are easier for them to hold onto. All they have to do is try to wiggle it in between their teeth; that way it gets out everything from in between them. Let them know that for the first week, their gums may be sensitive, but that it’s normal and will go away.

Brushing

Brushing is the most important step that you should teach your kids. If they are only going to pick one thing to do to perfect their oral health, make sure that it’s brushing. Just make sure that you choose a toothbrush that appropriately fits their mouth. Then, choose a flavor of toothpaste that they like; that way you can make brushing a little bit more fun. If you really are having a hard time getting them to brush consider making a chart for them. Then, if they consistently brush their teeth, they can go to the store and pick out a sugar-free treat.

Don’t Forget to Rinse

Another important part of oral care that you can teach your kids is rinsing after they are done brushing. Rinsing helps you to get the extra food and germs out of your mouth so that you don’t get a cavity or an oral infection. To rinse, all you have to do is just put some warm water in your mouth after you brush and then spit it out.

Teaching your kids good oral habits at a young age will set them up for a healthier future. If you want to learn more ways to ensure that your family’s mouths stay happy and healthy, contact us at our Albuquerque office at (505) 881-1159.

 

 

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FAQs About Filings

Dental Fillings, Albuquerque, NMIf you have lived thus far without having to get a filling, then you deserve a serious pat on the back. Fillings are one of the most common oral procedures that we do at our office for patients who have a cavity. But even though they are familiar to us, it doesn’t mean that they are familiar to you. To help you get ready for your appointment, let’s take a closer look at some frequently asked questions about this procedure.

FAQ: Are They Permanent?

Similar to other oral appliances, fillings aren’t permanent and will likely have to be replaced at one point in your life. However, they are really strong and durable as long as you take care of them really well.

FAQ: What Is the Procedure Like?

Before you come into our office to have your tooth filled we will go over the procedure with you briefly, but let’s reiterate. To start out, we will numb your tooth and Dr. Holbrook will remove the decay. After the decay has been removed, he will thoroughly clean the area. The composite filling will then be placed, shaped, and polished which will restore your tooth to its original function and shape.

FAQ: What Does It Look Like?

Usually, Dr. Holbrook uses composite fillings that are tooth colored and should blend in fairly well with your natural tooth. Some patients can’t see it, but other patients will notice that it’s a little bit lighter than their natural tooth. Either way, it’s not something that anybody else but you and Dr. Holbrook will ever notice.

FAQ: How Do I Take Care Of It?

When we send you home after your tooth has been filled we will give you a list of instructions on how to take care of your tooth. Usually, it’s very basic and includes avoiding foods that are extremely hard or chewy, brushing your teeth on a regular basis, and getting frequent exams.

Now that you know a few of the basics about composite fillings, it’s time to get in Dr. Holbrooks dental chair. Contact Dr. Holbrook today and call us at our Albuquerque office at (505) 881-1159.

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