Posts Tagged ‘dental anxiety’

Dental Care While Pregnant or Breastfeeding, Pt. 2

Most moms and moms-to-be know that dental care is recommended throughout pregnancy, since hormonal changes can cause more of a susceptibility to discomfort and infection. Dental problems also may bring to light a more serious underlying problem that these mothers should be aware of. Though it is my personal opinion that most dental evaluation and care should be taken care of before conception (a long time before conception if mercury removal is involved), I believe that light, routine dental care, such as cleanings or mild gingivitis treatment can be safe and effective during pregnancy.

Since my practice uses ozone in place of many harsher chemicals and typical dental medications, much can be done without fretting about affecting babies in utero or through mom’s milk. Healing is accelerated and accomplished more naturally when ozone is used. An already concerned mother should never be forced to compromise between “following the doctor’s orders” by getting dental care but exposing her developing children to drugs and toxins. Cleaning is harmless if there are no mercury fillings to agitate.

Many of the common drugs, painkillers, antibiotics, anesthetics, etc. used in the dentist’s office have been declared “safe,” or at least not significantly detrimental for a pregnant or nursing mother. A good dentist is cognizant of the most recent information regarding safe substances for his pregnant or nursing patients. For many patients, the reassurance that those substances are safe enough is all they need. However, others want to remain as clean and toxin-free as possible. I lean toward this side myself. Even if no adverse effects are found on growing babies, inside or outside the womb, there is no guarantee that there are other long-term consequences for dental drug exposure. Every drug is a foreign substance to the body; every drug is designed to manipulate certain functions in order to successfully carry out a medical purpose. In many cases they are lifesavers and great aids in the process of healing and managing pain.

But there is always, always a consequence, seen or unseen, for this medical/dental intervention or manipulation. It is only logical to conclude that delicately growing babies will be affected to some degree. We may not see it right away. It may remain undetected as the baby grows into childhood, then adulthood, and accumulates other health problems that would never be connected with Mom’s treatments while pregnant or nursing. The important thing is to educate yourself as best you can and make the best decisions for your family’s health.

I’ll get to the practical side of things in the next post.

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles


IV Sedation Dentistry

Here’s a little bit more detail on our sedation dentistry, also taken from my website

“Dr. Glenn L. Sperbeck and his dental team are experts in IV Sedation Dentistry. Together, they help patients overcome their dental fears through Conscious Sedation Dentistry (IV Sedation Dentistry). IV sedation induces a state of deep relaxation and a feeling of not being bothered by what’s going on. The drugs used for IV sedation can produce either partial or full memory loss (amnesia) for the period of time when the drug first kicks in until it wears off. As a result, time will appear to pass very quickly and you will not recall much, or perhaps even nothing at all, of what happened. Dr. Sperbeck will let you know how long the drugs will take to clear from your body. Until they are cleared, you will be asked to not drink alcohol, drive or work machinery.

“An IV sedation is administered by injection, either in the back of your hand or in your arm. The dose will depend on the amount of treatment needed and the length of time it will take to complete. The onset of action is very rapid, and the sedation drug dosage is safe and tailored to meet each patient’s individual needs. If you have a fear of injections, you will not be numbed until the IV sedation has fully kicked in. Dr. Sperbeck will wait to begin any dental procedure until after the anesthetic has taken effect.

“Dr. Sperbeck and his staff are trained to recognize and notify applicable patients of all contraindications/health concerns.

“Dr. Sperbeck and his assistant have a Conscious Sedation Dentistry License from USC Dental School.”

I also have previous posts about my grandchildren, and how I was able to use IV sedation with them safely and effectively. If you have any kind of fear of going to the dentist, or fear of the whirring tools and any pain involved, try this. The appointment will whiz by!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Help for the Scaredy-Patient

I have been doing conscious sedation for 3 years now and I can say without a doubt that this is a wonderful benefit for my patients. It is sometimes called “Sleep Dentistry” or “Twilight Sleep”. “Why the benefit?” you ask; well, it is for the fearful patient. Even with all the improvements in the care we now have, people are still afraid. Who is eligible for this service? Surprisingly, it is most people. It can be safer to use than not to use. Because of people’s fear some emergencies are more likely to occur. Conscious sedation helps reduce the anxiety, thereby reducing risks of complications that may arise. It is also used for a patient who does not want to remember the appointment. There is a medication we use that has an amnesic effect. So, even though my assistants and myself have magnetic personalities, it can be a very easy appointment. I do not take it as an affront if you fall asleep on me and snore. Sweet dreams!

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles

Keeping the Saw (or at least my note-taking skills) Sharp

As I mentioned before, I am licensed to perform conscious sedation. I am licensed as #517. That shows how few in this profession have that ability. Part of maintaining possession of the sedation license is keeping up with the continuing education requirements. This is different from maintaining my license to practice general dentistry. This year I will spend 3 days at my alma mater, USC (go Trojans!), to take the required courses. I can honestly tell you that I am excited to attend.

The courses will be on:

1. Physical evaluation

2. Emergency Medicine

3. Monitoring and Clinical Emergency Medicine

Rarely do you hear of dental emergencies, which is good. Most emergencies are related to patient anxiety or fear. So, by preparing and keeping my staff sharp, I feel that we will make it a safer experience for my patients. An important thing patients need to know is that conscious sedation makes it even safer for the patient. You see, if the person is not fearful throughout the procedure, there is much less stress to the body and we avoid accidents that cause emergencies. An added bonus is you will not remember the appointment.

Now repeat after me: “Dentistry can be fun!”

Dr. Sperbeck, West Los Angeles