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Drs. Boyd Blog

Sedation Dentistry: Relaxation is Possible in the Dental Chair

November 4, 2019

Woman in dental clinic wearing a nose mask

Dental anxiety can be rough.  It paralyzes patients from seeing the dentist, taking care of dental problems or prevent them from doing esthetic dentistry to improve their smiles.  At the Drs. Boyd in midtown Manhattan, we work with patients to help manage their anxiety but many times patients need something extra for relaxation.  This is why we offer our patients the benefit of sedation dentistry.

What is Sedation Dentistry?

Sedation dentistry involves taking a medication to help patients relax during dental treatment.  Not all forms of sedation are the same.  There are a varying degrees of sedation including mild, moderate, deep and general anesthesia.  Depending on the level of treatment and the needs of the patient, we tailor the level of sedation.

Who is a Candidate for Sedation Dentistry?

Many patients require some form of sedation for dental procedures.  Some reasons for dental sedation include fear of the dentist that does not allow any treatment, severe gag reflex, a very low pain threshold, extremely sensitive teeth or an extensive amount of dental work needed.  We need to complete a thorough review of your medical history and current medications to determine what form of dental sedation is possible and safe.

Nitrous Oxide Sedation

One of the most common dental sedatives is nitrous oxide also known as laughing gas.  A patient wears a nasal mask and breaths in a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide to achieve a mild relaxion.  One of the best aspects of laughing gas is that it works really fast and wears off really fast.  This means that you will not have a recovery after the procedure and you will be able to leave on your own.  Many patients use nitrous oxide with cleanings and other minor and major dental procedures.

Oral Sedation

This type of sedation can vary from mild to moderate depending on the dosage of the drug used.  The drugs most commonly used for this type of sedation are Valium, Ativan or Xanax.  Taking one of these pills will make you relaxed and a little drowsy.  We generally have patients take one pill the night before to ensure a good sleep and one the next day an hour before their scheduled appointment.  These drugs are the most commonly recognized methods of sedation dentistry.  We recommend that someone is available to escort you home after your appointment.

IV Sedation

When a patient requires a deeper and more profound form of sedation, we opt for IV sedation.  We work with a dental anesthesiologist that administers IV drugs to achieve deep relaxation in a safe environment for our patients.  We can administer drugs that will range from moderate to deep sedation.  Patients will need a period of recovery after the drugs wear off or are reversed.  For IV sedation, we require an escort home from your appointment.

Regardless of the severity of your dental phobias, the Drs. Boyd have a solution for you.  We can discuss the best form of treatment for your needs so that you have a great dental experience.  Contact us at (212) 755-9055 to find out more information on sedation dentistry.

How to Cope With Dental Anxiety

October 23, 2019

Frightened woman at the dentist office.

Let’s face it, the dentist office is not the first place people tend to want to go.  Most dental procedures are not painful but even just examining someone’s teeth can cause a level of anxiety.  Dental fear and dental anxiety is a problem that faces as many as 20% of Americans. Unfortunately the problem often snowballs, the less people go (or never at all) the worse and more serious any potential problems will tend to be.   This is why at Drs. Boyd we take every step to ensure that patients feel comfortable and we take away their anxiety.  Here we will discuss what brings about dental phobia and how we can deal with it!

What Causes Fear of the Dentist?

There are many different reasons that people feel stressed at the dental office.  Some of the reasons are fear of pain, fear of injection or the injection won’t anesthetize the area.  Many people also have a feeling of being helpless and a loss of personal space.  Some people feel embarrassed if they have problems because of the social stigma behind unhealthy teeth.  Regardless of the reason the Drs. Boyd have many ways to manage dental phobias and make for a comfortable, pleasant experience.

Pain is Not Relative

Pain is a huge factor in dental anxiety and not everyone experiences pain the same way.  Some things that seem like nothing to one person can be severe for another.  There are a number of different factors that impact how someone perceives pain. For example, people with red hair have a greater pain experience than people without red hair.  What matters?  If you feel pain, we believe you and we will do what we have to so that you don’t!  The days of the dentist making you suffer through a procedure or saying its not so bad are GONE.

Talk About It!

Bringing dental anxiety out into the open is a great way to alleviate most of your stress.  Even on your first call to our office, bring it up to our team.  It is important to discuss with Dr. Boyd what about dentistry makes you nervous.  This brings the fear out into the open and we can begin to discuss how we will manage it!  Having an open dialog with your dentist will also establish trust.  Something we hold in high regard.

Just Breath

Breathing and relaxation techniques can be an excellent way to relieve stress and anxiety.    Inhale slowly and deep through your nose.  While doing this make sure to keep your muscles relaxed.  Exhale through your mouth slowly while again keeping everything relaxed.  Another trick is to focus breathing through your belly.  Breath in and expand your abdomen while keeping your chest relatively still.  Also having an equal time inhaling and exhaling, helps focus your breathing and increase oxygen.

When we need a little more, the Drs. Boyd have other methods such as nitrous oxide, oral sedation and IV sedation with an anesthesiologist.  Dental anxiety is a very real problem for many people but the Drs. Boyd can manage it and make your experience a comfortable and relaxing one!

Call us at (212)755-9055 to schedule your visit with us.

National Dental Hygiene Month — Time for a Checkup!

October 11, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 2:33 pm
getting teeth cleaned

Generally speaking, a clean mouth is a healthy mouth. Keeping your teeth and gums free of harmful bacteria prevents decay and helps you maintain fresh breath. It can even play a role in preventing significant overall health problems. Since October is National dental hygiene month, it is the perfect time to pause to consider how you are doing at maintaining a clean mouth. It may also be the ideal time for you to schedule a professional cleaning and dental checkup in Midtown East. In this post, we’ll discuss the importance of oral hygiene and how you and your dentist can work to keep your smile clean, healthy, and beautiful.

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A Mouthguard Can Protect More Than Just Your Teeth

October 9, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 2:20 pm
A little girl karateka in white kimono and in a red belt with a mouth guard.

Fitness has become such an important part of all of our lives.  We lift weights, take classes and participate in all sorts of recreational sports.  Lets face it, accidents happen but serious injury to our teeth can be avoided with a custom mouth guard.

Why Wear a Mouthguard?

Wearing a mouthguard can protect your teeth from serious injury.  Custom mouthguards can protect from cracks, chips and from losing your teeth.  In the United States, greater than 5 million teeth are avulsed per year!  That’s a lot of lost teeth.  A mouthguard can also prevent soft tissue injuries like cuts to your lips that need stitches.  A custom sports guard has also been shown to prevent jaw injury and reduce the risk of brain injuries.  It is so important to take every step possible to reduce the chance and severity of concussions.  This is especially so in children and adolescents.

What Type of Mouthguard Should We Wear?

Any type of mouthguard is better than no mouthguard but having a custom made mouthguard has so many more benefits.  We start by capturing a 3D image of your teeth using our 3D scanner.  No longer are the days of filling bulky trays with goopy impression material.  We custom design the mouthguard to your specific needs.  Not every sport requires the highest level of protection so we can customize thickness to give additional support.  From mountain biking to muay thai, we have your teeth covered.

What Are Some Other Benefits of a Custom Mouthguard?

Custom mouthguards not only protect our teeth but they also other added benefits.  Custom mouthguards are designed for your mouth and not bulky like an over the counter mouthguard.  This means that you will be able to breath better during exercise!  Better breathing means better performance.  Wearing a mouthguard actually allows athletes to play harder with better results.  Many studies have shown that athletes wearing a custom mouthguard can generate more force and power than those that are not wearing a guard.  This is one of the many reasons we see so many professional athletes wearing custom guards. (Think baseball players at bat!)

To schedule your visit with us for your custom made sports guard, call us at 212-755-9055 or email at office@drsboyd.com

7 Myths of Teeth Whitening

September 26, 2019

There are SO many “tips and tricks” for teeth whitening.  I am here to remove some of the myths about bleaching your teeth.

Photo of woman smiling.

Whitening Toothpaste Whitens Teeth

The reason why there is no clear recommended whitening toothpaste from dentists is that none of them really work.  At least for what patients are looking for.  Toothpaste in general contains an abrasive that serves to help microscopically scrape away plaque and tartar.  Whitening toothpastes have additives that can remove some minor surface staining but to get at the yellow core of the tooth you need something that will absorb deeply into the tooth. 

Bleaching Your Teeth is Bad for Them

This is a common misconception.  Whitening your teeth is not dangerous for your teeth when done in a controlled way with your doctor at Drs. Boyd.  Unfortunately, there are some side effects which include tooth sensitivity and gum irritation.  Tooth sensitivity is difficult to predict from patient to patient.  Generally it can be minimized with careful protection of the sensitive root areas and exposed dentin.  Gum irritation can occur with poorly fitting whitening trays or over the counter whitening strips.  When the whitening gel sits on the gum tissue for a prolonged period it burns the tissue and is painful.

Rinsing with Hydrogen Peroxide Whitens and Cleans Teeth

This is simply false.  Rinsing with hydrogen peroxide is not beneficial and is actually damaging to your gum tissue.  Hydrogen peroxide is good at initially cleaning our cuts that we get outside of our mouth.  We should not be rinsing with it.

Charcoal Toothpaste Whitens and is Good for Your Teeth

Activated charcoal has many health benefits! Unfortunately, they aren’t found by putting them in a toothpaste.  According to a study in the British Dental Journal, the charcoal added in the toothpaste is nothing more than a marketing gimmick.  None of the products are actually shown to be of any benefit for what they say they can do.  It doesn’t whiten teeth.  It may remove surface stain but so does regular toothpaste and at a fraction of the cost.

In Office Whitening is Better than Professional At-Home Whitening

This is actually false.  Single visit in office whitening is just as effective as at home whitening.  The main difference is the concentration of the whitening gel that is used.  The benefit is that you can have whiter teeth in one quick visit in about an hour and a half.  We use Philips Zoom whitening because we have had a the best whitening results with that system.  For patients that have had sensitivity with the higher concentration gel, we can use a very comfortable low concentration gel for a longer duration. 

You Can Whiten Your Existing Crowns and Veneers

Unfortunately this is not true.  Whitening gel cannot whiten existing restorations of any kind.  If you have existing crowns and want a whiter smile we can replace them using state of the art ceramic veneers and crowns that look like white natural teeth.

You Can’t Whiten Your Teeth in a Day

You can professionally whiten your teeth in as little as an hour and a half.  Using Philips Zoom whitening, we can lighten teeth up to 8 shades.  So if you have a big social event and want a fast bright smile, this is the way to go.

There is no bad time to get a whiter smile.  If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation for your whitening procedure, please call our office at 212-755-9055.  You may also reach us by email at office@drsboyd.com

Top 5 Questions from Patients on Bleaching Teeth

September 4, 2019

Before and after images of whitened teeth

People want whiter and brighter smiles these days.  We are all being bombarded with every facet of teeth whitening product from over the counter whitening strips to activated charcoal.  Drs. Boyd wants to clear up the confusion on bleaching teeth and answer our most common questions from patients.

Why are my teeth yellow?

Nobody likes yellow looking teeth.  Also, the more coffee, tea, red wine and other highly pigmented foods we consume, the more yellow and dark they get.  So, what is in our teeth that makes them dark?  Teeth have color producing molecules called “chromophores”.  These molecules give the dark stains to our teeth. The more dark foods and beverages we consume the darker these chromophores become.

How do teeth get whiter?

Whitening occurs when the chromophores in our teeth are broken down by diffusion of a whitening gel into the tooth.  The gel oxidizes the chromophores and removes their color.  The oxidation of the chromophores leave us with a white and bright tooth.

So how can I actually get my teeth whiter?

The best way to bleach our teeth is with professional teeth whitening at Drs. Boyd.  We use a combination of in-office Zoom whitening and at-home whitening to establish a long lasting white smile.  At your whitening appointment we use a high strength, light activate peroxide gel on your teeth.  The whole process takes about an hour and a half.  After your visit, you will follow special protocol at home using your custom made trays.  This combination of procedures leads to a long lasting whiter smile.

Am I a candidate for whitening?

Most people with otherwise healthy teeth are candidates for whitening their teeth as long as they are over the age of 15.  Whitening becomes difficult when patients have many tooth colored fillings on the front teeth or crowns and bridges as these types of restorations do not change color.

Are there any side effects?

The most common side effect is temporary tooth sensitivity.  The sensitivity usually subsides after 24-48 hours of whitening and is not a permanent issue.  Although it can be annoying, it is not an indication that something is wrong.  We help prevent this sensitivity by having our patients use Sensodyne toothpaste 1 week prior and apply a sensitivity preventing gel in your custom trays after your in-office whitening procedure.

There is no bad time to get a whiter smile.  If you have additional questions or would like to schedule a consultation for your whitening procedure, please call our office at (212) 755-9055.  You may also reach us by email at office@drsboyd.com.

How Gum Disease Treatment Could Save Your Brain

June 15, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 1:38 am
doctor examining brain scan

Your brain is the center of everything you are. It stores your memories, enables you to make decisions, processes your emotions, determines your personality, and so much more. This precious organ is worth every effort you make to protect it. Research has shown that regular exercise, learning new things, and eating a healthy diet can all play a role in preventing Alzheimer’s. But did you know that gum disease treatment in Midtown East could also help you keep your brain healthy and functioning? Because June is Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness Month, now is the perfect time for us to talk about the fascinating connection between your gums and your risk of developing Alzheimer’s.

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Celebrate National Smile Month with Your Dentist in Midtown East

June 2, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 1:35 am
smiling young woman

National Smile Month, which runs from May 13 to June 13, 2019, is a campaign designed to encourage people to pay extra attention to their oral health. It is the ideal time for you to consider if you are doing everything you can to keep your teeth and gums in good shape. Or, this month might remind you about the cosmetic flaws in your smile that you haven’t gotten around to fixing yet. In either case, a visit to your dentist in Midtown East can help you achieve your goals for your precious smile.

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Your Dentist Offers 4 Tips to Save Your Teeth

May 24, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 1:47 am
smiling couple with toothbrushes

Your teeth are designed to last a lifetime. Unfortunately, however, various factors can shorten their lifespan. Decay or trauma might endanger your teeth and lead to the need for extractions. How can you protect your pearly whites and help them to endure for decades to come? Since May is National Save Your Tooth Month, now is the perfect time for you to think about how you can protect your precious, natural smile. Here are some useful tips from your dentist in Midtown East:

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3 Reasons to Visit Your Dentist for an Oral Cancer Screening

April 5, 2019

Filed under: Uncategorized — drsboyd @ 7:04 pm
checking for cancer

Too many people believe that they are impervious to the threat of cancer. Oral cancer, in particular, doesn’t always get the attention it deserves. While it is neither the most common nor the most talked about form of cancer, it is a widespread problem that touches countless lives each year. Since April is Oral Cancer Awareness Month, now is the perfect time to think about how you can protect yourself from this devastating disease. One way in which you can do so is by visiting your dentist for an oral cancer screening in Midtown East. Let’s talk about why getting screened is so vital.

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