How Oral Sedation Works

If you go to a dental clinic and you’re interested in oral sedation, the clinic will then take your medical history and check your blood pressure to see if you’re an eligible candidate. If ever you are deemed fit for oral sedation, you’ll be prescribed with two doses of medication. You will need to take the first one on the night before you go the clinic so that it’ll help you sleep soundly. While the second dose, you should take it an hour before the procedure in order for you to feel relaxed while it is ongoing.person holding white and black pen

An important thing to know about getting oral sedation is that you cannot drive a car or travel anywhere by yourself – which means someone should be with you during the appointment who can help you get home safely. Aside from that, the person you’re with needs to be able to take the information the dental clinic will provide for your follow-up appointment, any care you need, and what needs to be done in the following hours and days after the procedure. Whoever you choose to bring along, should be someone that you fully trust with this information. 

What is Oral Sedation?

Do you break into a cold sweat whenever you think about seeing a dentist? Whether it is just basic cleaning or a major tooth extraction, you always get nervous. Well, you are not alone. A lot of people feel this way so sometimes they skip dental appointments out of fear. However, you don’t have to fear about anything. One thing that could help you get through your next dental appointment may be getting oral (or non-IV) sedation.

Why Choose Oral Sedation?

There are some people who really have phobia about going to the dentist. If you’re still not sure whether to get oral sedation or not, here are signs that could help you decide:

  • You have extreme anxiety in general, but especially at the idea of seeing a dentist.
  • You’re going to have an invasive dental surgery.
  • The procedure is a huge one that you want to get done once and for all.

What Medication is Used

Drugs that help relieve anxiety are called Benzodiazepines, also referred to as “benzos”. This is a common medication and you may be familiar with it as Ativan, Valium, Xanax, and more. There are two main types of benzos that are used: anti-anxiety medication and sedative-hypnotics. All benzos are relatively safe, which is why they’re a vastly prescribed medication. What’s important is to take it only as recommended. Never mix it with alcohol or take more than the prescribed dose.


While it may not work for everyone, a lot of patients are helped by oral sedation. Don’t avoid going to the dentist because you’re scared. You just have to look for the best dental care provider that can provide a wide variety of options. To help lessen your dental anxiety, Serenity Smiles can help you using oral sedations.

To learn more, please call 480-400-5000. You can also visit Serenity Smiles at 8390 East Vía de Ventura #F200 Scottsdale, Arizona.

3 Easy Steps in Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

A dentist is more than someone who cleans your teeth on a regular basis. Your dentist is your partner in achieving optimum dental health. That is why is it important to carefully choose a dental provide for your pearly whites. Give your teeth a home that would look out for best interest.

Like your own home, you would want a dental home that you are comfortable to be YOU. Choose a dentist that you treats you like family, where in you do not feel any awkwardness. You do not hesitate or fear going for regular dental visits. More than anything else, you should be able to feel safe in your chosen dental home because it is your go-to place in case of dental emergencies.

So, today, I will share with you tips in order to find a dental home that fits your needs.

Getting startedman in white dress shirt holding black pen

Regular dental visits are essential for your overall dental health so start with basic criteria like the following:

  • Is near your house or near your office?
  • Does the clinic have office hours that coincide with your schedule?
  • Are you comfortable with this dental clinic? Are you able to communicate well with your dentist?
  • Do you have dental benefits and is this dental clinic covered by your benefits?

Choosing a dental clinic depends on your needs and on your lifestyle. It is important choose a place where it is near your office and house so you can easily visit when emergency situations arise. More importantly, you should be able to voice out your thoughts. In any relationship, communication is important.

Search for a dentist

Nowadays, it’s pretty easy to search because there are online advertisements. You can search on your social media accounts for nearby dental clinics. Check the reviews of dentists near you, and for sure, your friends can even recommend one or two. However, remember that these reviews are subjective. Their dental needs may be different from your needs so manage your expectations.

To help you with your search, here are a few tips I can share with you:

  • Check the local dental clinics in your area.
  • Ask a friend or a family member. A good recommendation from someone close to you is worth checking out.
  • Visit your local health department for recommendations.

Once you have a list on your hands, you can search these potential candidates online to learn more about their dental services.

It’s time to schedule a visit

You do not find the right dentist in an instant. Sometimes, you need to be asking about them or visiting the dental clinic before you make a decision. You can schedule consultation to meet the dental team in person. Then, you will able to see if  their dental office is the right one for you.

Here are some guide questions for you:

  • Was dentist able to answer your dental health concerns?
  • Did the dentist provide dental health instructions in order to help improve your overall health?
  • How does the dental clinic handle patients and emergencies cases?
  • Are the dental costs with your budget? Are the payment options flexible for you?

Whether you need a cosmetic dentist or an emergency dentist, you can rely on Serenity Smiles. When you visit Serenity Smiles, you are welcomed by a spa-like dental clinic. You will surely feel comfortable because Serenity Smiles exudes a relaxing vibe. To know more about the various dental services, call Serenity Smiles at 480-400-5000.


What You Need to Know About Your Teeth

Our teeth are composed of four dental tissues. Three out four of these are hard tissues; these are enamel, dentin, and cementum. The fourth tissue which is pulp, or the central part of the tooth which has nerves, blood vessels, and connective tissue is classified as soft/non-calcified tissue.

The Basics of Tooth Anatomywhite flower petals on white textile

  • Enamel

    • This is the hard calcified tissue covering the dentin in the crown of tooth. Enamel does not contain any living cells, so tooth enamel cannot repair damage caused by decay or wear. Only a dentist can help in correcting these conditions.
  • Anatomical Crown

    • This is the visible part of your tooth. Normally, it is protected by enamel.
  • Gums (also referred to as gingiva)

    • These are the soft tissues that cover and protect the roots of your teeth and cover teeth that are yet to appear.
  • Pulp Chamber

    • This is the space occupied by the pulp, which is the soft tissue at the center of your teeth containing nerves, blood vessels and connective tissue.
  • Neck

    • This is the area where the crown joins the root.
  • Dentin

    • A part of the tooth that is below enamel and cementum. Dentin contains microscopic tubules (small hollow tubes or canals). When it loses its protective covering (enamel), the tubules then allow heat and cold or acidic or sticky foods to stimulate the nerves and cells inside the tooth which can cause sensitivity.
  • Jawbone or Alveolar Bone

    • The part of the jaw that surrounding the roots of the teeth.
  • Root Canal

    • This is the portion of the pulp cavity inside the root of a tooth; the chamber within the root of the tooth that contains the pulp.
  • Cementum

    • A hard connective tissue covering the tooth root, giving attachment to the periodontal ligament.
  • Periodontal Ligament

    • A system of collagenous connective tissue fibers that link the root of a tooth to its socket.

Important Tips When Choosing a Dentist

Dental care is a very personalized service that demands a positive relationship between the dentist and the patient.  So before making a decision, you may want to call or visit multiple dental care providers. During your first visit, you should be able to determine if this is the right dentist for you. Here are questions you should ask yourself before deciding if he/she is the right dentist for you:

  • Is the appointment schedule conducive for you?
  • Is it easy to get to the dental clinic from your home or work?
  • Was your medical and dental history recorded and stored in a permanent file?
  • Does the dentist take their time in explaining techniques that will help you prevent dental health problems? Is dental health instruction provided clearly?
  • Does the dentist allow special arrangements made for handling emergencies outside of office hours?
  • Do they provide you information about fees and payment plans before treatment is scheduled?
  • More tips posted on: 3 Easy Steps in Choosing a Cosmetic Dentist

You and your dentist are partners in caring for your oral health. Take your time in asking questions and take notes so you can remember your dentist’s advice. Above all, you should choose a dentist who can take great care of you and eventually, become a part of your total health care team.

5 Steps to Clean Between your Teeth

By regularly cleaning between your teeth, you are preventing formation of cavities and gum disease. It also helps in removing a sticky film called plaque. It’s important to remove plaque because it contains bacteria that feed on leftover food or sugar in your mouth. If that happens, it will release an acid that can eat away at the outer shell of your teeth which causes cavities.

Oral-B Ultra floss dental floss container

If plaque is not removed by brushing or cleaning between your teeth, it could turn into a rough substance called tartar. When tartar builds up along your gum line, it could lead to a gum disease. Once tartar forms, only your dentist can get rid of it.

Ideally, we should floss at least once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it. Follow the steps below to find out how to properly floss your teeth:

Take about 18 inches of floss and wrap most of it around one of your middle fingers. The remaining floss should be wrapped around the same finger of the opposite hand.
Hold the floss as tight as possible between your thumbs and forefingers.
Using a gentle rubbing motion, carefully guide the floss between your teeth. Never snap the floss into the gums.
When the floss reaches the gum line, curve it making a C-shape against one tooth. Gently slide it into the space between your gum and tooth.
Make sure that you’re holding the floss tightly against the tooth. Gently rub the side of the tooth, moving the floss away from the gum in up and down motion. Repeat this method on the rest of your teeth. Don’t forget to clean also the back side of your last tooth.

Once it’s all done, throw the floss away. Never use it again because a used piece of floss won’t be as effective and it could leave more bacteria behind in your mouth.

When’s the Best Time to Clean Between my Teeth?

It actually doesn’t matter when, as long as you do a thorough job when you clean between your teeth. Choose a time that is convenient for you where you can devote a few extra minutes to your dental care routine. If you are someone who is usually too tired at the end of the day, you will benefit from cleaning between your teeth first thing in the morning and after lunch. What’s really important about cleaning between your teeth is to actually do it.

Also, children need to clean between their teeth as well. You should start as soon as your child has two teeth that touch. This is because cleaning between teeth demands more manual ability than very young children have. Usually, children are not able to do a thorough job on their own until they reach 10 or 11 years old.

It’s normal to feel discomfort when you first start to clean between your teeth but keep in mind that it should not be painful. If you do it too hard, you’ll end up damaging the tissue between your teeth. And if you’re too gentle, you might not be cleaning it thoroughly.  If you still experience pain while cleaning between your teeth, it’s best to see a dentist.

Do You Floss Your Teeth Regularly?

We all brush our teeth every single day, but does everyone floss the spaces in between their teeth? For the first statement, I can surely say that everyone brushes their teeth. However, not everyone gets to clean it with a dental floss.

In this post, I would like to write about the tools you can use to clean your teeth, and the importance of flossing & cleaning spaces in between your teeth.

What Can I Use to Remove the Food Stuck Between Teeth?

Now that we are on the topic of flossing, you are probably curious on the proper tool to use if you notice food particles stuck between your teeth. For sure, most of you just grab anything you deemed anything that will clean it out.bokeh photography of condiment shakers

In a study, the American Dental Association (ADA) revealed that the participants use whatever they have handy. Moreover, the ADA investigated the unusual flossing habits of Americans, and these were the unusual items that were used by most people…

  • 61% used their fingernails
  • 40% tried folded paper or cards
  • 21% admitted to using a fork, knife, or spoon
  • 14% made use of metal pins
  • 7% even resorted to using hair strands

The survey proved that most Americans, indeed, tried various things to floss their teeth. The ADA discourages the use of these unusual items because it is less capable of doing the job. Additionally, the items above are MORE risky. In fact, nearly half of the people who used some (if not, all) of the items shared that they experienced pain upon using a bizarre item as a cleaning tool.

Instead of using picking an odd item to clean your teeth, you can use a traditional string floss, dental picks, water flosses, and interdental brushes. These things are designated to effectively clean the spaces in between your teeth.

Discuss Your Options with Your Dentist.

You may end up injuring yourself that is why it is best to talk to your dentist so that he can share with you numerous options to clean your teeth. There is no universal solution because it really depends on the person. For instance, dental picks may be cheap but some people might unable to floss the hard-to-reach areas.

Meanwhile, water flossers may be pricey but it is a great tool to effectively clean your entire mouth. Remember that for some people, especially people who have had their teeth fix, it can be difficult to floss. This is true for people with braces or permanent bridges. Do not try to experiment because you might end up hurting yourself, and this could lead to an infection or a gum disease.

So, I really suggest talking to your trusted dentist for the viable options. Once you find something that works for you, then, add it your oral routine.  Lastly, the American Dental Association reminds everyone to choose a dental product with their seal of approval. On the next post, I will teach you how to floss the right way.

A Healthy Habit of Cleaning Your Teeth

If you want to develop a healthy habit, you can visit Serenity Smiles. For only $99, there will be an extensive oral examination, X-ray, and dental cleaning. Serenity Smiles can also help transform your smile with a Smile Makeover.  For more information, you may call 480-400-5000.

Dental Emergency Tips: 3 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 3)

By now, I have already discussed a 2-part blog post on the 5 Signs You Need to See a Dentist. Today, the final set of dental tips will be posted below.

#9: You are covering your mouth

Are you trying to hide your smile? Whether you are afraid to show a broken tooth or a stained tooth, it is already affecting your self-image. Obviously, there is something wrong because you have become too self-conscious already. There is no need to be shy because you could always see a cosmetic dentist for dental solutions. However, you need to first see an emergency dentist to check on the current status on your entire mouth. Have an initial oral examination first, and then, the dentist may recommend seeing a cosmetic dentist for improving your smile.

woman in white crew neck t-shirt

Related reading:

Usually, it is natural for your teeth to be stained because of the food we eat, the lifestyle choices we have, and so on. Moreover, aging can also contribute to our teeth’s color change plus certain medications could also play a part in this. So, there is no reason to be shy because we all go through changes in our bodies. If you are really conscious about discolored teeth, you can ask a dentist for whitening options. The dentist could recommend a stain removal that does not interfere with your meds. To attain visible results, you should avoid (or lessen the intake of) certain foods, like coffee and tea.

#10: You have a difficulty eating

If you have a hard time chewing or swallowing, this is NOT normal. That is why you need to see a dentist right away. While waiting for your scheduled dental appointment, you should try to eat soft or liquified foods at the moment.

When you feel pain once you take in hot or cold drinks, this could be because you have sensitive teeth. There are many causes of sensitive teeth, such as worn fillings, worn tooth enamel, gum recession, and many others. The treatment will depend on the source and level of sensitivity. Hence, it is best to a see a dentist for immediate diagnosis and treatment options.

#11: You have mouth sores and spots

There are many types of mouth sores, namely candidiasis, canker sores, cold sores, and leukoplakia. The severity depends on the bacteria, viruses or fungus. Mouth sores could be because of your dentures, braces, or sharp edge of your tooth.

Mouth sores could also lead you to a disease or disorder so you better ask a dentist to should examine your mouth first before jumping into conclusions.

A Regular Dental Checkup

Do not wait for dental problems to escalate before you head to the nearest dental clinic. If you have one or two symptoms of the things I have listed since the 5 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 1), then schedule a dental appointment. It is time to treat existing dental problems before the damage becomes irreversible. Visit Serenity Smiles at 8390 East Vía de Ventura #F200 Scottsdale, AZ. You may also call Serenity Smiles at 480-400-5000.


Dental Emergency Tips: 3 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 2)

In 5 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 1), I talked about several indicators that would tell you to visit a dentist. Today, I will discuss 4 more symptoms that would mean you might need to see a dentist right away. Even if your symptoms are mild and you do not feel any pain, dental checkups are still necessary because they can help prevent dental problems from worsening. For all you know, there could be an existing dental problem that you thought you never had. So, please do not delay and have your overall dental health assessed.

#6: You have dry mouth

When you constantly have a dry mouth, this could point to a medical problem. Moreover, it could also be a  side effect of your current medication. One of the factors that prevent the spread of decay is your saliva, and the saliva serves as a liquid to get rid of food and other particles in your mouth.

Other than that, saliva neutralizes the acids that are produced by bacteria. The saliva is important in disease fighting and preventing other dental problems. If you have a dry mouth your dentist may be able to recommend products to add moisture in your mouth.

#7: You smoke

As you know, smoking is bad for your health. However, for some people, smoking cigarettes and chewing tobacco are embedded in their daily routine and lifestyle.

By smoking, it can lead to having bad breath. Plus, smoking could be detrimental to your dental health, such as having a dry mouth, gum disease, and many more.

grayscale photo of womans face

To balance everything out, let me make it clear that bad breath is not always caused by smoking or consuming tobacco products. It could also because of a medical condition, like a gum disease. To reduce bad breath, brush your teeth regularly, and don’t forget to floss also. Brushing your tongue could also prevent bad breath, but if it still continues, you should ask your dentist for a personalized treatment plan for bad breath.

#8: You experience jaw pain

If you hear a popping sound when you open your mouth, you should see a dentist. When your jaw is painful even if you are merely opening and closing your mouth, you should see a dentist. If you have a hard time chewing especially when you just woke up, you should see a dentist. All these signs point to your jaw, and it could lead to many things.

One of the possible factors could be teeth grinding, toothache, gingivitis, or temporomandibular joint & muscle disorders. Jaw problems could also be because sinus problems and arthritis, which makes it hard to exactly pinpoint the problem.

That is why you will need to a dentist for a proper diagnosis, and the dentist will have to conduct a comprehensive oral exam, X-rays, and other tests to verify the root cause of the jaw pain. More tips discussed on: 3 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 3)

Schedule a Dental Checkup

At Serenity Smiles, you can have a thorough oral examination, X-ray, and dental cleaning for the low price of $99. Serenity Smiles aims to formulate a personalized dental plan by evaluating the condition of your teeth, gums, jaw, and your entire mouth. To learn more about this, please call 480-400-5000.

Dental Emergency Tips: 5 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 1)

Often, we delay dental appointments, thinking that it can wait. Then, the next thing we know, there are visible symptoms of a dental problem. Whether you like it or not, you will be forced to see a dentist because the problems have escalated.

In this blog post, I would like to explore the signs and symptoms that indicate you have to visit a dental clinic. If you experience any of the things, do not hesitate to see a dentist right away. The goal of this article is to let you know that you should not take these symptoms lightly. See a dentist before the dental problem gets worse and the damage will be irreversible.

#1: You are in painman in white long sleeve shirt

Pain is the number one indicator that there is something wrong. Aside from intense pain, you may also notice swelling in your mouth and on your face.

If your mouth hurts, this could point to a toothache. Having toothaches imply that there could be a tooth cavity or an underlying gum disease. Most of the time, a toothache is telling you that there is an abscess or impacted tooth.

You should see a dentist right away so he can access the root of the problem. If you insist on NOT having it checked, no dentist can save your tooth from dying. Better see a dentist right now than experience a more serious problem in the future.

#2: You experience bleeding gums

Aside from having toothaches, another sign to look for is when your gums are swollen. You notice that they bleed every time you brush (or floss) your teeth. If you have a history of gum disease, the more you need to visit a dentist.

Bleeding gums is a symptom of gingivitis. Once you ignore it, the damage could lead to an reversible gum disease. That is why when you notice that your gums bleed constantly, then schedule a dental appointment right away. This is a sign that you should take seriously because something is clearly wrong.

#4: You had dental work done

If you have braces, implants, and/or dentures, you should have it regularly. Misalignments of these dental works can give off negative effectives such as toothache, headaches, facial pain, and many more. Just to make sure every thing is good condition, you should see your dentist.

If there are problems, then the dentist can make appropriate adjustments and perform oral surgery. So, don’t be complacent just because your dental work is “done.” It still needs to be regularly checked by a dentist.

#5: You have pre-existing medical conditions

Once you have other medical issues, you should tell your dentist. Sharing your full medical history is important in formulating the best solutions for you. That is why you should be inform your dentist if you have diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or other medical conditions that could affect the dental treatment.

If you are undergoing other treatments like radiation or chemotherapy, please let your dentist know. For more details on this topic, please refer to 5 Signs You Need to See a Dentist (Part 2)


Dental Anxiety in Times of a Dental Emergency? (Part 2)

In Dental Anxiety in Times of a Dental Emergency? (Part 1), I opened up about dental anxiety and how people tremble by the mere suggestion of going to the dentist. This fear of the dentist is understandable, but the problem lies when this impedes your dental consultations.

If you keep on delaying your dental appointments, the stakes get higher and higher too. The damage can be irreversible if you insist on not going to the dentist. That is why for this post, I will share 2 more ways cope with dental in white scrub suit holding green hose

The dental problems could escalate and the future dental appointments could be more dreadful for you. In fact, if you see a dentist regularly, it lessens your chances of experiencing dental emergencies. On your next dental appointment, you can use these tips in order to ease your dental anxiety.

Find a good distraction

I know what you’re thinking… How can I distract myself when all I see are white walls, needles, and some weird apparatus? Distracting yourself might be a difficult task when you shaking and nervous. Breathe and apply these tips to distract your thoughts.

  • Bring headphones to the clinic. If the cleaning and drilling scares you, you can inform the dentist that you will be putting your headphones on.  You can blast your favorite music while the dentist works her magic. Prepare a playlist of songs that relaxes you or you might want to listen to an audiobook during longer dental sessions.
  • You can also bring with you a stress ball to release all the worries and anxieties. Having a fidget spinner is also a good alternative.
  • If these tips do not work, think of happy memories. Think of your favorite TV show and look back on your favorite scenes. Perhaps, you have a favorite movie so try to remember that. You can also try to picture your dream vacation.

Learn some mindfulness techniques

This may seem cliché, but you have to take a deep breath. To release the tension in your body, inhale and exhale repeatedly. Relaxation begins when your body is not stiff and tense. Here are tips for your breathing exercises:

  • Inhale and exhale slowly, and do not rush the exercises. First, inhale slowly by counting a few seconds. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat the process at least 5 times while you are waiting for your turn.
  • Concentrate on one part at a time. You can begin focusing on your toes, and then, work your way up. Once you reach your face, you can focus on your cheeks, your neck, and so on. Remember to inhale slowly and release all your worries as you exhale.

A Premier Dental Clinic in Scottsdale AZ 

Goodbye to days when you dread going inside a dental clinic because now, you have premier clinics like Serenity Smiles. At Serenity Smiles, it feels like you are in a spa and not a dental clinic. The Serenity Smiles Dental Clinic exudes a relaxing vibe and this is to help lessen your dental anxiety.

To learn more about Serenity Smiles, you may call 480-400-5000. You can also visit Serenity Smiles at 8390 East Vía de Ventura #F200 Scottsdale, Arizona.

Dental Anxiety in Times of a Dental Emergency? (Part 1)

The fear of the dentist is not a rare occurrence. Often, most people get anxious at the mere suggestion of going to the dentist. You are not alone because a lot of people experience dental anxiety. Perhaps, you are afraid of blood, or scared of needles. Whatever the reason, there’s that constant fear you feel, and you are not really sure on what the dentist will see upon examination.

Take a deep breath, and let’s get to the ways in which you can do to help ease your dental anxiety. At the end of the day, you need to visit a dentist in order to check any developing dental problems.

Say something

man in blue dress shirt and blue denim jeans standing near black flat screen computer monitor

The more you try to hide your dental anxiety, the more it will haunt you.

So, speaking up will make a huge difference. Do not be afraid because the dentist will understand the fear and anxiety you are feeling right now. Remember, you are not alone. A lot of people are like you so there’s no need to be shy about it. Talk about your feelings and release the anxiety off your chest.

Besides, your dentist can only address your concern if you talk about it. If you don’t speak up about your needs, the dental team won’t be able to come up with effective and better solutions for you. Check out these tips below:

  • First, you have to open up about your dental anxiety, and you should tell your dentist about it. When you schedule for a dental checkup, inform the attendant about your concerns. On the day of your appointment, remind the dentist and team about your dental anxiety. You can share some past experiences that have scarred you. This way, the dentist can suggest alternatives and handle that specific problem with utmost care.
  • Next, if you are unsure, you can always clarify or ask questions. It will just add up to the fears that are already piling up. So, alleviate the anxiety by learning more about the causes of your fears. You might be surprised to know that the problem was NOT as scary as you thought it would be. Sometimes, we suffer more in our minds than in real life. That is why it is better to voice it out and ask questions.
  • If things get too overwhelming for you, you should discuss with your dentist on certain signals. You can come up with hand signs as signals. For instance, once you raise your hand, you are asking for a break. The same concept applies when you are in class and you want to take a bathroom break.
  • Lastly, if your pain tolerance is low, you should tell your dentist about it. The dentist can provide you with various anesthetic options. Moreover, if you experience pain during the dental procedure, do not hesitate to interrupt the dentist. Some people just bear with the pain because they are afraid of interrupting the procedure. Like I said on the previous tip, agree on a signal. Talk it out before you start the dental procedure. The moment you are uncomfortable, you can send a signal. The main point here is to communicate, and it starts with you speaking up about your dental anxiety.

More on Dental Anxiety in Times of a Dental Emergency? (Part 2)