Will sedation dentistry make me sick?


I have to have something to help me get through a dental appointment next month. I am scheduled for 2 root canals and crowns. My dentist told me that sedation will really help me relax. I am all for it. Unfortunately, I am one of those people who experiences some sort of side effect with prescriptions meds. I am wondering if sedation dentistry will make me sick. My dentist says No, but I want another opinion. Thank you. Leigh

Leigh – Other than drowsiness, most patients don’t experience side effects with sedation dentistry. Some oral sedatives can cause a little nausea, but again, most patients don’t experience it.

Ask your dentist which type of oral medication he or she uses for sedation purposes. You can also ask about the common side effects and what most of your dentist’s patients experience from the medication. Let him or her know your concerns. Your medical history is reviewed to ensure you are a candidate for oral conscious sedation. And during your dental procedure, your vital signs are monitored.

You will be instructed to take the sedative about an hour before your dental appointment. You will need transportation to and from the appointment because you will be very drowsy. It is important to seek a dentist with extensive training and experience in sedation dentistry.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.

Do teeth whitening pens work?


I got an email from Living Social for teeth whitening pens for under $20. The ad says that the regular price is over $100, so I am guessing that these must work really well. Do they? – Meghan

Meghan – The results you will get from a pen for teeth whitening depend on several factors:

  1. The cause of the stains in your teeth – Depending on the cause of the stains in your teeth, the whitening gel may not whiten them at all. In some cases, it can actually make the stains worse.
  2. The gel – Type of gel and the strength of the gel in the pen determine how white your teeth will get. Some gels will only remove surface stains. If stains are embedded in your teeth, you will see limited results. Additionally, some pens only paint the teeth white. These painting pens contain no ingredients to break down stains in your teeth.
  3. The means of keeping the gel on your teeth – Customized whitening trays keep bleaching gel pressed against your teeth so the gel will penetrate them. Customized trays also protect your gums from irritation or burning by the gel. When you apply bleaching gel with a whitening pen and no trays are used, you will lose some of the gel between your inner lip and teeth. The gel might even irritate your lips and gums. Much of the gel will be lost, so your teeth won’t get as white as with custom trays.
  4. The source of the whitening pen – Some dentists provide whitening pens after professional whitening treatment. These pens are effective in helping you maintain a brilliantly white smile. But they are not used to whiten your teeth from the start. In-office or take-home treatment with professional-strength gel and supervision by the dentist are completed first.

Before you whiten your teeth, we recommend that you ask your dentist to examine them to anticipate the results you will receive and to determine if this is the right treatment to brighten your smile. You can also ask your dentist how he or she can make teeth whitening affordable for you.

This post is sponsored by Lowell, MA dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.