Sedation Dentistry 101: Frequent Questions Explained

For most people, stepping into the dental office, having a seat in the treatment chair, and receiving treatment is just the norm. However, dental treatment can be much harder and more intimidating for some patients. Sedation dentistry can be a saving grace. Here are a few things you may want to know about sedation dentistry.

Q. What are the different kinds of sedation dentistry?

In general, there are three different types of sedation dentistry:

  • Sedation using a prescription oral sedative
  • Sedation using inhalable nitrous oxide (laughing gas)
  • Sedation using general anesthesia (put to sleep)

Q. Who is the best candidate for sedation dentistry?

The best candidates for sedation dentistry are people who have unreasonable anxiety about dental treatment or have certain medical conditions that can make conscious treatment risky. For example, someone who has Parkinson’s may be a good candidate for sedation dentistry or a child with developmental disabilities may be a good candidate.

Q. Are there risks involved with sedation dentistry?

With any form of anesthesia, whether it is general anesthesia or something as simple as an oral sedative, can come along with certain risks for the patient. The dentist will discuss any risks there may be with sedation before you opt for the treatment so you can decide if the risks are worth it to you. It should be noted that it is quite rare for people to have an adverse reaction or experience during sedation dentistry.

Q. Will dental insurance cover sedation dentistry?

Some forms of dental insurance will cover sedation if it is deemed as medically necessary. A preauthorization may have to be completed by the dentist to explain why sedation is a necessity and not an option. The majority of providers will only pay a percentage of the costs, however. Therefore, it is best to find out how much you will be expected to pay in advance so you can make arrangements for payment.

Find Out More About Sedation Dentistry in Brookeland, TX

For people who have problems with conscious dental treatment, sedation dentistry can change their lives for the better and protect their oral health for the long term. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry for more information about sedation dentistry in Brookeland, TX.


Highlight Your Spring with a More Confident Smile

You may be less than happy about your smile now, but achieving a smile you can be proud of is on your list of priorities for spring. At Rayburn General Dentistry, we offer a full lineup of services to help you achieve a healthier smile that you can be confident about showing off in the sunshine. Take a look at some of the things we can do to help fix those imperfections with your teeth that hinder your happiness.

Teeth Whitening

If you have a few stains on your teeth or they are a bit duller or yellowed than you prefer, an at-home bleaching kit from us may help. Our professional whitening trays are custom made to fit the shape of your teeth and used along with professional-grade agents to ensure you achieve reliable results.

Dental Implants

If you have lost some or all of your teeth, it can change how you speak and how you interact with the world around you. We offer both single-tooth dental implants and full restorations with implants for patients who are good candidates. Dental implants are considered the long-term solution for missing teeth; these fixtures can last a lifetime with proper care.

Crowns and Bridges

Crowns and bridges are an excellent option to restore a smile that is not in its best condition. Crowns can be placed on top of teeth that have been chipped, broken, or damaged to restore their appearance and match the rest of your teeth. Bridges are anchored to healthy teeth to restore gaps in your smile if you have had to undergo an extraction. For example, if you are missing a front tooth, a bridge can be created to anchor the two teeth on both sides and contains a prosthetic tooth to close the gap and restore your smile.

Contact Us to Get Your Spring Started with a Smile in Brookeland, TX

With a new season making its way into the new year, there is no better time to make sure you have a reason to smile more. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry in Brookeland, TX to find out more about the services we have to offer.


3 Dental Health Concerns for Senior Patients

Older adults tend to have more health concerns to be mindful of as they age, and it is no different with their oral health. If you are an older adult who is over the age of 65, there can be specific dental and oral health concerns to monitor with the help of your dentist. Take a look at some of the most common dental health concerns for senior patients.

Gum Disease

Gum disease is more prevalent among older adults for a few reasons. Older adults can have gum cells that regenerate slower, which can lead to a natural breakdown of the gums. Some older adults can also be more prone to infections of the mouth that can lead to gum disease.

Root Decay

Root decay is what happens when the root of a tooth starts to deteriorate even though the part of the tooth above the gum line is in good condition. Older adults who have issues with bone loss can have problems with root decay. In some cases, the decay can be helped with root canal therapy, but it is not uncommon for these teeth to have to be removed.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth can come along with aging, but the exact reasons can vary by patient. Some older adults will see a slowdown in saliva production due to changes in the endocrine system that affects hormone levels. Some seniors will have issues with dry mouth due to other health issues, such as diabetes. Unfortunately, dry mouth can lead to risks of decay. Therefore, it is best to have your dentist and your doctor help resolve the issue through proper treatment.

Tooth Darkening

Tooth darkening is caused by a breakdown of the materials inside the tooth. The teeth are actually somewhat transparent in the outer layers, which means when the interior starts to break down, it can cause the tooth to look darker all the way throughout. The dentist may be able to offer treatments with traditional root canals or fillings that can help negate these darkening issues.

Talk to Us for Geriatric Dental Care

At Rayburn General Dentistry, we treat patients of all ages who have all kinds of oral health concerns. If you need to schedule an appointment, reach out to us for information.


Why Dentists Recommend Fluoride

Have you noticed that every time you visit the dentist they are always asking if you are using fluoride? If you have children, the pediatrician may even ask you if you live in a town where the water is fluoridated. It seems that all health professionals are interested in whether or not you use fluoride in your home, but especially dentists. So why do dentists recommend fluoride?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is an additive that was discovered many years ago to have restorative properties. Cities and towns across the United States pay to have fluoride added to the drinking water to help protect its residents from tooth decay. If you have town water on your property, chances are that you have fluoride in your water. If your water comes from a well, you’ll need to make sure you get fluoride from other sources.

Fluoride in Dental Products

Because fluoride has been shown to have significant dental health benefits, it’s often added to dental products like toothpaste and oral rinses. This is done to help ensure that even those without fluoridated drinking water get enough fluoride to protect their dental health. To make sure that you’re using dental products with fluoride, look for products that have the American Dental Association (ADA) logo on the label. The ADA endorses the use of fluoride so if you confine your dental brands to these labels, you should be fine.

Why Dentists Recommend Fluoride

The main reason why dentists recommend fluoride is that it is endorsed by the American Dental Association. This governing body has the resources to ensure that the benefits of fluoride outweigh any cons. Basically, if the ADA recommends fluoride, dentists will, too. The second reason that dentists recommend fluoride is that it works. If you ever look at the teeth of people who live in countries where fluoride is not used, it will become very obvious to you that fluoride makes a huge difference. Since dentists only want the very best for your teeth and gums, it stands to reason that they would recommend fluoride.

If you are worried that your family may not be getting enough fluoride, contact your town officials and ask if fluoride is added to the drinking water. A simple phone call is all it takes.

5 Easy-Peasy Ways to Help Your Child Feel at Ease at the Dentist

Ensuring a healthy child is all about getting regular checkups, and even their smile needs periodic attention. However, children can be a little apprehensive about dental treatment just like they can be afraid of other forms of medical treatment. Take a look at a few ways you can help your child feel more at ease when they visit a dentist for treatment.

1. Keep Your Apprehension In Check

Children will reflect your own personal feelings, especially if you are apprehensive or worried about their visit to the dentist. Do what you can to mask your concerns so your child does not sense your nervousness.

2. Choose Dentistry Treatment Terms Wisely

Your child will likely ask a lot of questions about the dentist and what will happen when they visit. Be careful about how you describe certain procedures. Children can be fearful of anything they don’t understand. For example, instead of telling your child the dentist may use a drill to fix a cavity, simply say the dentist will remove the cavity ad fix it.

3. Play Pretend Dentist at Home

Set up a mock dental treatment area at home and play pretend dentist at home. You can use simple plastic toys or tools to “clean” your child’s teeth and allow them to do the same to you. This pretend play can help ease your child’s apprehension about what will take place when the real treatment day arrives.

4. Keep Wait Times to a Minimum

Try not to arrive too early for your child’s dentist appointment. If they see someone coming out of treatment that looks bothered, they can assume the worst and grow even more afraid.

5. Discuss Your Child’s Apprehension with the Dentist

Never forget that your dentist can do a lot to help ease a fearful child during treatment. Talk to them openly about your child’s fears when you make an appointment. The dentist will make arrangements to ensure your child gets through the appointment with as little to fear as possible.

Childhood dental care is critical, and having a child afraid of the dentist can make it hard. Reach out to us at Rayburn General Dentistry if you need advice about helping a fearful child get the proper dental care.


How Regular Dental Checkups Help Keep You Healthy

If you’re like many people, going to the dentist isn’t among your favorite activities — and consequently, you may only see a dentist when you experience an oral health condition that causes you so much discomfort or even pain that you can no longer ignore it. However, the vast majority of dental issues can be circumvented or delayed by taking preventive measures, including scheduling regular appointments with a dentist. Most people should see their dentist every six months.

Your Dentist Will Perform Regular Cleanings

Even if you’re meticulous about brushing and flossing your teeth as a part of your at-home oral hygiene routine, you won’t be able to remove all the plaque and tartar buildup that occurs over a period of time. This buildup is what causes tooth decay and gum disease. Regular professional teeth cleanings ensure that plaque and tartar buildup is kept to an absolute minimum. As an added bonus, having your teeth cleaned on a regular basis will help keep your smile white and bright.

Your Dentist Will Devise a Customized Care Plan for You

One of the most significant advantages of having a regular dentist is that you’ll receive customized care designed to meet your individual needs and preferences. Your regular dentist will know your medical history as well as your dental history and will, therefore, be able to screen for conditions that you may be vulnerable to be developing and to implement preventive treatments designed to prevent them or slow down their progress. Regular dental checkups also make it possible to catch conditions such as gingivitis at their onset instead of after they’ve progressed to the point where the prognosis isn’t as good.

Your Dentist Will Screen You for Oral Cancer

Regular dental checkups are your first line of defense against oral cancer. Your dentist will perform a thorough examination to detect possible signs of oral cancer and will refer to a specialist if further investigation is warranted. 

Please feel free to contact us to schedule an appointment for a dental checkup or for more information on how having regular dental checkups can have a positive impact on your overall health.

woman smiling with flowers

Tooth Enamel Loss – What Is It and Why It Matters

The enamel is the hard, outer layer of your teeth. It helps to provide the best protection for your teeth over time. Even as the hardest substance in the body, it can break down over time, especially if poor oral hygiene occurs.

Why Does Tooth Enamel Loss Occur?

Over time, it naturally weakens. However, for most Americans, this happens too soon. Enamel erosion is likely happening if you have stained teeth or any type of sensitivity to heat or cold substances. There’s no way to regrow enamel, which is why it is so important to protect it.

It often happens as a result of eating foods that are high in sugar, carbohydrates, and acids. Sugary foods break down and feed bacteria in the mouth. Acids, like citrus fruits and apples, cause damage to the enamel directly. You may also develop it if you grind your teeth, suffer from chronic acid reflux, or have low levels of saliva production.

woman smiling with flowers

How Do You Minimize Tooth Enamel Loss, Then?

There’s no way to improve the amount of enamel you have. To help minimize further loss, then, there are several simple things you can do. First, start by eating a healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals. This helps to boost your immune system, helping to control the level of bacteria in your mouth.

You also need to ensure you are getting preventative dental care. This means brushing your teeth twice a day, using a mouth rinse, and flossing. It’s also necessary to have your teeth cleaned at least one time every six months. This can help to remove plaque buildup on the teeth, which is one of the key causes of enamel breakdown. Also, be sure to drink water with fluoride in it and choose a toothpaste with it. Fluoride helps to strengthen the existing enamel.

Protect Your Teeth with Routine Dental Appointments

Enamel loss isn’t uncommon, but it can lead to early tooth decay and tooth loss. The best way to prevent this is through routine checkups with your dentist. Schedule an appointment with Rayburn General Dentistry today. Call us at 409-698-8800.


man at dentist

The Benefits of Fluoride

A big part of your dental cleaning and prevention program involves the use of fluoride. It’s a word everyone recognizes, but some people may not know the many benefits of fluoride. Let’s look at some frequently asked questions.

What is fluoride?

Fluoride is a natural mineral that’s found in many foods and water, explains WebMD. It’s important for your teeth because the outer layer, called enamel, is the hardest and most highly mineralized substance in your body.

Why is enamel important?

Enamel helps to protect your teeth from decay, so preventing erosion or weakening is very important. Enamel protects the sensitive inner layers of your teeth from hot or cold foods and drinks. It also acts as a strong barrier that safeguards the inner layers of your teeth from the effects of acids and plaque.

How do acids and plaque harm teeth?

Acids formed from the bacteria in plaque and sugars in your mouth attack the enamel layer of your teeth, in a process called demineralization. When too much of this occurs, your teeth are susceptible to tooth decay, or cavities.

So how does fluoride help this?

When you eat foods and drink water that contain minerals such as fluoride, phosphate, and calcium, they are man at dentistredeposited onto the enamel layer of your teeth. This is called remineralization. This process helps to repair the enamel layer and prevent tooth decay.

Not only does fluoride help to prevent tooth decay by making your teeth more resistant to the acids found in plaque and sugars, but it also reverses early decay. It helps to speed up the remineralization process in both children and adults.

Why is fluoride important for children?

As soon as your child has a tooth, your pediatrician may recommend fluoride varnish treatments two to four times a year to help prevent tooth decay. It’s important to expose infants and children between the ages of 6 months and 16 years to fluoride because this is when their primary and permanent teeth come in.

What are good sources of fluoride?

Topical fluoride can be directly applied to the teeth through over-the-counter fluoridated toothpastes and mouth rinses.

It’s also found in most community water supplies. Approximately 62% of the U.S. population served by public water supplies has access to adequate levels of fluoride in their water, and 43 of the 50 largest U.S. cities have water fluoridation systems, reports WebMD.

The American Dental Association notes “Community water fluoridation is so effective at preventing tooth decay that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named it one of 10 great public health achievements of the 20th century.”

You can find out how much fluoride is in your community tap water by asking your family dentist or contacting your local water supplier or health department.

Your dentist can also apply a fluoride varnish to your teeth after a cleaning to strengthen them and make them more resistant to cavities.


Causes of Tooth Pain

Tooth pain ranges from a dull, throbbing ache to quick, sharp stabs of agony. There is no one main cause of tooth pain, but the most common reasons are listed below. Because tooth pain rarely goes away on its own, those who experience it should see their dental care professional as soon as possible to determine the cause and get some relief.

Physical Trauma

One of the most common causes of tooth pain is physical trauma, particularly for those who play sports, but they can also occur as a result of vehicular accidents, fights, or other situations where physical trauma occurs. It sometimes takes several hours to several days for the toothache to begin, however, so patients don’t always connect it to the injury.

When teeth become cracked, chipped, or fractured as a result of injury, patients may experience sharp, stabbing pain, especially when chewing or biting and noticeable sensitivity to heat and cold.


Tooth Decay

Tooth decay is another primary cause of tooth pain. This occurs as a result of plaque buildup on tooth enamel that causes it to erode to the extent that a cavity is formed. Although the cavities themselves are painless, the decay eventually reaches the middle layer of the tooth if cavities are allowed to go untreated.

If the decay is allowed to continue unchecked and extend deep into the interior of the tooth, a condition known as pulpitis results, which causes most patients a considerable amount of pain and can cause an infection commonly known as a dental abscess. Some cases of pulpitis are reversible, while others require that the affected tooth or teeth be removed and replaced with prosthetics.

Gum Disease

One of the first indications of the onset of gum disease is tooth pain and sensitivity accompanied by bleeding gums. This condition is known as gingivitis, and the good news is that when it’s almost always reversible when it’s caught in the early stages.

Although these are among the most common causes of tooth pain, they are far from the only causes. Only your dental care professional can determine the exact cause and prescribe an effective course of treatment. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like more information on maintaining a healthy, attractive, and pain-free smile.

man at dentist

Benefits of Dental Implants

If you are interested in dental implants in Brookeland, Texas, we are ready to assist you. At Rayburn General Dentistry, we offer comprehensive dental care and services. This includes dental implants for holding your replacement tooth or bridge in place permanently. Learn more about the reasons why patients like dental implants instead of conventional dentures.

Save Time With Implants

Instead of spending time removing, soaking, and replacing your conventional dentures, implants are treated just like normal teeth. Brush, floss, and carry on with dental hygiene practices like usual. This also helps with your self-confidence by making it less visible that you have had dental work done. Plus, you save money on not having to purchase special solvents and glues to hold your dentures in place. Thanks to screws, dental implants are permanently affixed to your gumline.

Improve Your Appearance

Speaking of your self-confidence, dental implants are useful for improving the structure of your facial contours. When you have missing teeth, this causes the gum tissue to lose its natural shape. As a result, you end up with an unbalanced jawline and misshapen smile, with dental implants, you bypass this and improve your smile by replacing the teeth. Besides, the implant helps to secure the structure of your gums.

Make Meals Easier

When you are wearing conventional dentures, you have to be careful about what you eat. However, when you are using dental implants, you can eat more foods with confidence. Hard and chewy foods are no longer off the menu. You can eat more variety of foods, which increases your nutritional intake. Get your health back naturally through a varied diet by opting for dental implants in place of dentures.

Choose Brookeland, Texas General Dentistry

To get started with general dentistry services at Rayburn General Dentistry, contact Rayburn General Dentistry. Our dentist Dr. Joshua Seale has been serving patients in Brookeland, Texas for over 14 years. Along with dental implants for adults, we also offer implants as part of our pediatric and geriatric dentistry. Call our office at 409-698-8800 for an appointment.