What’s the Deal with Sleep Dentistry?

What makes you anxious?

For a large swath of the population, the answer is: the dentist.

Which can make an already-intricate profession even more so. Navigating a patient’s sensitivities and nerves is a challenge that many medical professionals aren’t really equipped for. That’s why sleep dentistry or, more accurately, sedation dentistry, has become quite popular over the last few years. 

What is sedation dentistry?

Sleep or sedation dentistry is the act of relaxing a patient for procedures ranging from teeth cleaning to full extraction. There are quite a few techniques to choose from which will rely heavily on the procedure itself and the patient’s true level of dental anxiety.

Sedation can be:

  1. Minimal: The patient is awake but relaxed. Can be administered with nitrous oxide inhalation or low doses of pills like Halcion, taken orally one hour before the procedure.
  2. Moderate: The patient is conscious but likely will not remember most of the procedure. Higher doses of Halcion or diazepam are taken one hour before the procedure. The drug can also be given through IV which allows for continual adjustments.
  3. Deep: The patient is borderline unconscious but easily awakened. Intravenous sedation is most commonly used in this case.

And then there is general anesthesia in which the patient is totally unconscious.

Who benefits from dental sedation?

Patients who have a very low tolerance for pain, incredibly sensitive teeth, an inability to sit still, or are scheduled for a significant amount of work are candidates for dental sedation.

When deciding whether or not to incorporate sedation dentistry into your practice, it’s important to be prepared with the following information:

  • An individual’s full medical history
  • Appropriate dose for age and health status (including weight and sleep disorders)
  • The training and/or certifications necessary to administer sedatives
  • The pros and cons of hiring a dental anesthesiologist to outsource the administration
  • The possible side effects of each method

Should I offer sleep dentistry?

With more patients requesting sedation services, it’s a good idea to investigate your options. If you’re comfortable (and licensed, if necessary) to administer sedatives, consider adding it to your offerings. If not, look into the benefits of hiring or contracting an experienced dental anesthesiologist.

Learn more about PlastCare USA and stock up on the products you need for your office!

Sources used: Dental Sedation: The Anxiety-Free Option for In-Office Procedures, Dentaly; Sedation Dentistry: Can You Really Relax in the Dentist’s Chair? WedMD

Is chocolate good for your teeth?

It seems that no candy is actually “good for” your teeth. There are, however, candies that are “better than others”. So if you’re interested in the most mouth-friendly Easter basket, move to the section of the store that sells dark chocolate. Pure dark chocolate with no sugar added which are now often found in the form of “cacao nibs” or “raw chocolate”. The flavor is sharp and bitter and may take some time to get used to, but once you do, you’re open to a whole host of health benefits!

What are the benefits of pure chocolate on the teeth?

  1. Fights plaque: The polyphenols in cacao beans reduce the formation of biofilm and production of acid, according to the NIH. In other words, pure cacao has an antibacterial compound that fights plaque and an ability to prevent sugar from turning into damaging acids. This, in turn, stops cavities from forming.
  2. Fights tooth decay: In addition, CBH, a compound in chocolate, is effective at fighting tooth decay due to its ability to harden tooth enamel and may soon be proven more effective at doing so than fluoride. Mark Burhenne, DDS mentions in his blog that he predicts CBH to one day be incorporated in toothpastes and mouthwashes but we are still a few years away from approval. 
  3. Reduces inflammation: Chocolate is able to reduce inflammation, so it could help those that suffer from periodontal disease and gum swelling. 

What kinds of chocolate do I buy?

Since raw chocolate isn’t everyone’s cup of tea (cup of chocolate?), work your way up by starting with chocolates that are at least 70% cocoa. Ghirardelli and Lindt offer anywhere from 72 – 90% cacao, making them better choices for your teeth. Since the sugar count is much lower in bars with higher percentages of cocoa, they are better choices for your health as well.

This is not to say that eating chocolate all day is the answer to pesky dental issues. Incorporating small amounts of pure, raw chocolate can certainly be helpful but there is a limit to which is it good for your health. Consume in moderation and enjoy the benefits of this superfood, which far surpass the health of just your mouth.

If you want to include a broader variety of candies in that basket without completely ruining your (or the recipient’s) mouth, consider one or two pieces of sugar-free candy and candy that has nuts to break up some plaque. Avoid sour candy, lollipops, and sticky candies like Tootsie Rolls. Finally, wait 30 minutes before brushing to avoid pushing the bad stuff deeper into your teeth and gums.

Learn more about PlastCare USA and stock up on the products you need for your office!

In Office Stretch for Dentists. Andrea Piacquadio.

Are you a dental practitioner? Do you find yourself sitting for hours at a time? Are you looking for easy, in-office exercises to fend off physical stagnation?

I’m both a writer and a yoga instructor. Which means I spend a lot of time sitting, despite knowing the critical importance of moving often. When I get in a zone, it’s hard to break that streak for a much-needed walk around the block or stretch on the floor.

It’s so essential. The stagnation of sitting for extended periods of time makes my body feel crunchy, my posture hunched and the muscles in my face tight. I make it a point to get up and move as much as I possibly can. 

However there are times I cannot get up and out. That’s when I incorporate stretching either on the floor of my office or at my seat.

Here is a list of 7 easy, effective exercises that can be done in your office, between patients. They’re simple, quick and will get your blood flowing in no time.

Useful Prop: Mat/Towel

Bridge pose

Lie on back with knees bent to 90 degrees. Feet hip distance apartment, toes turned inward slightly. Fingertips should brush your heels. With gaze at the ceiling, lift the hips upward and breathe. 

Stretches front body, chest, back of the neck
Strengthens mid & lower back, glutes, hamstrings

Plank pose

Palms or forearms stack directly under shoulders. Tuck toes, slightly round upper back. Belly in and up. Hold at least 30 seconds at a time and breathe.

Full body strengthener, notably the core
Stretches legs, ankles, feet

Low lunge 

From a kneeling position, step one foot forward. Back knee down. Lean into front knee, engage core, lift biceps by ears and pull shoulder tips down the back. Breathe.

Stretches hip flexors, side body, chest
Tip: If your left leg is forward, hold your right wrist with left fingers. Lean to the left for a deeper oblique stretch

Half split 

From previous position, hinge hips back, straighten front leg and lean forward with a flat back and open chest.

Stretches lower back, hips, hamstrings, calves
Tip: If your right leg is forward, turn your torso to the right and lean forward to access the IT band.

Child’s Pose

From hands and knees position, bring big toes to touch and widen the knees apart into a diamond shape. Drop torso forward and rest forehead on the ground. Extend your arms forward with fingertips on the floor.

Stretches upper, mid and lower back.
Walk both hands to right and then to left for side body & outer hip access.

Neck Release

Sit cross legged. Slip right hand under right buttock. Draw left hand to right ear and drop head to the left. Repeat on opposite side. Can be done in a chair. Interlock fingers behind the skull, drop chin to chest.

Stretches all sides of the neck and upper shoulders.

Seated Pigeon Pose

This can be done in a chair. Make a figure 4 with one leg by bringing fully flexed ankle on top of opposite knee. Straighten through spine and lean forward. Breathe. (If you have a recent knee or hip injury, take this very slowly or skip altogether.)

Stretches inner thigh and outer hip, as well as lower back.

Looking for more? Check out this article by Christina Lopez, 8 Safe and Effective Exercises for Dental Professionals

Want to know more about us? Find out the story behind PlastCare USA.

Are you opening your first practice? Have you been running your own office for years and are finally considering relocation? Depending on your goals, the United States has plenty of locations for a dental business to thrive and generate a nice income. Here are the best states to open a dental practice in 2023.

Where do dentists earn the most?

The average yearly salary for a dentist in Delaware hovers just below $280,000, the taxes are low and most of the population has insurance. It’s a small state with an easy connection to Philadelphia. During the summer, you can spend your days off on one of its many beautiful beaches.

The population is generally wealthy, healthy and insured. Salaries are competitive and average somewhere in the mid-$220,000s. The cost of living is very affordable and you’ll have access to some of the best continuing education at University of Illinois at Chicago’s College of Dentistry. Plus, cheese.

Where are dentists needed the most?

The yearly salary for a dentist in the sunny state of Florida averages around $275,000. With less than 1,000 dentists in the entire state, as per Cloud9 Software, the competition is slim. Insurance is a drawback, not many residents prioritize dental. If you can jump this hurdle, you will have access to warmth and sun for the majority of the year.

There are currently less than 450 registered dentists in Arizona. Similar to Florida, a majority of the residents either rely on Medicaid or forgo insurance altogether. However, the population is generally health-conscious and dentists are in high demand. In Prescott, the average salary is around $200,000 per year. Arizona boasts an affordable lifestyle, plenty of golf, hiking and sunshine.

Where do dentists have the highest quality of life?

Vermont is not only beautiful, its cost of living is significantly lower than the country’s average. Here you can ski or hike on your days off without giving a second thought to the cost. Should you choose to live in Burlington, you can expect your salary to flirt with the $275k mark.

One of the best states in the USA to open a practice, Hawaii actively needs more dentists. For example, in Honolulu, more than 70% of residents regularly visit one of just 350 dentists on the island. The average salary maxes around $170,000 and the quality of life is one of the highest in the country.

Everyone wants something, and they want it yesterday.

In such a fast paced world, how does a dental office keep up with patient expectations?

By offering same-day dentistry.

Eliminate the lab and do everything in the office.

What does that mean, exactly?

Let’s face it, people are busy. They don’t have time to go back and forth from the dentist to complete one procedure. They look for alternatives if they’re forced to wait months for an appointment. Patients want to be in and out with their problems solved.

Traditional dentistry is falling to the wayside in lieu of digital dentistry. This convenient approach to the practice is faster, accurate and much more comfortable for the client. It is also more cost-effective in the long-term.

What do I need to become a Same-Day-Dentist?

Known as CAD/CAM (which means computer-aided design/computer assisted manufacturing) this dentistry method enables dentists to design and create prosthodontics and sometimes in less than 1 hour! Dentists can then use a 3D printer to make dental crowns, teeth bridges, veneers, onlays, inlays, dentures, and dental implant-supported prostheses while the patient is waiting.

The technological components of CAD/CAM are growing by the day, and already include software, digital scanners and printers. Here is a video of a chairside milling machine at work.

While switching from traditional to digital dentistry is an investment of both time and money, it is proving itself to be the future. Same-day dentistry is becoming an essential component to a forward-thinking practice.

In the meantime, learn more about PlastCare USA and stock up on the products you need for your office!

Patients want to book dental appointments from their phones.

The trend of convenience is taking over dentistry.

Since the pandemic, the population has become more accustomed to the trend of convenience. It’s more common than ever to grocery shop from the kitchen or visit a therapist from your home office.

The desire for ease is permeating the medical industry and is especially noticeable amongst boomers and seniors, who constitute a huge chunk of dental clientele.

Meaning, if you operate a dental office, it is imperative to incorporate comfort into every procedure you offer, from scheduling to surgery.

It might seem like a huge undertaking, but it doesn’t have to be. Incorporating CAD/CAM systems, 3D printing, artificial intelligence will certainly lead to a smoother day to day, but there are faster, more economical ways to get started now.

Here are a few suggestions to integrating the convenience trend into your dental practice:

  • Make the intake process easy and quick. Patients want to book from their phones. Finding your contact information, scheduling an appointment and arriving at the office should all be as seamless as possible. It will encourage follow ups and increase word-of-mouth advertising.
  • Reduce waiting time and offer digital distractions, like interactive games for both adults and kids, to make the wait time pass more quickly. Going traditional is never a bad idea either, so remember to stock up on coloring books, up to date magazines and crossword puzzles for the waiting room.
  • Provide entertainment in the exam room itself. This is trending big time and many dental offices are setting up Netflix and the like to keep patient anxiety at bay during difficult procedures.
  • Teledentistry is huge. Be sure to offer virtual services. At minimum you can educate the patient on short term solutions to any issues. At maximum, you can reach clients you wouldn’t otherwise have met. Believe it or not, many patients are willing to travel the extra mile (or many) for a dentist with whom they feel safe.
  • Include a Chat Bot on your website. Ideally the bot is available 24/7, but if it’s not a reality, at least have a chat option for patients to write in during office hours. Less people are willing to make a call these days, and you don’t want to lose a patient simply because they don’t feel like talking on the phone. Don’t lose sight of the trend of convenience in dentistry!

Anything we missed? Let us know in the comments below!

Nitrile gloves are comfortable, puncture resistant and come in a variety of colors.

Did you know that the facts behind the usage of Nitrile gloves could be so utterly fascinating?

You likely spend most of your days in the dental office wearing gloves. Taking them on and off is second nature and an almost-undetectable habit. As a daily extension of your hand, it’s critical that these gloves offer the utmost in comfort and style.
There are three standard glove options to choose from, which we’ve previously covered in our blog post Exam Gloves: Nitrile Vs. Latex Vs. Vinyl

All are excellent choices and luckily, we carry loads of all styles! Let’s deep dive into the benefits of each, starting with Nitrile.

What is Nitrile? It’s a synthetic rubber blend produced artificially that is typically allergen-free. Remember, your comfort is just as important as your patient’s well-being. While rare, some professionals experience a reaction to materials like latex. If that sounds familiar, nitrile can serve as a great alternative.

Why use Nitrile? Lots of reasons, including the aforementioned, but we’ve whittled it down to five.

Nitrile gloves are:

  1. Insulated against germs or other mouth bacteria due to their coating
  2. Made of a highly flexible and hypoallergenic material which adapts to the contours of your hand for unrestricted movement
  3. Incredibly puncture resistant which is essential when using pointed objects near saliva, blood and other secretions
  4. Easy to put on and take off – remove the gloves quickly with no friction or static
  5. Now found in a variety of colors. Dress to impress and showcase your personality. On our website, you can choose from pink, black, lilac, orange or white nitrile gloves, as well as the standard blue.

So there you have it! You can be stylish and comfortable, sp boost your dental practice with a stock of Nitrile gloves. Head to our online shop for a plethora of choices that will have you and your patients smiling before, during, and after the procedure.

The case for latex gloves and reasons to still consider using them in your dental practice.

There are three standard glove options to choose from, which we’ve previously covered in our blog post Exam Gloves: Nitrile Vs. Latex Vs. Vinyl

Latex gloves, poor things have garnered a bad reputation since their widespread usage began in the early 1980’s. Prior to the emergence of HIV, medical staff weren’t actually required to use gloves of any kind. While most practitioners opted to protect their hands (and the patient’s mouth) during surgery, it wasn’t common for a dentist to wear anything while performing routine check ups.

Plus, non-sterile exam gloves weren’t readily available.

How things have changed.

Imagine cleaning someone’s teeth without gloves. Unheard of!

Natural rubber latex gloves came on the scene with the introduction of hepatitis and HIV and remained the preferred material for gloves. They were cheap, comfortable and provided unparalleled barrier protection. Over time, both dentists and patients started developing allergies to the material. Latex started to fall to the wayside.
But there was one issue.

Latex gloves still offered the best in barrier protection and comfort.

So developers began to experiment. Gloves in the early days were made quickly and contained up to 2,000 micrograms of residual extractable protein per glove. This level of protein triggered aversions among latex-sensitive doctors and patients. Knowing this, a low protein style of latex glove came on the market with levels of 100 micrograms or less. Allergic reactions and sensitivities dropped significantly.

With this new development, many practitioners were able to turn to latex again. Aside from protection and comfort, latex gloves have a unique resealing capability. Tiny punctures are less likely to tear the glove, making it more durable and longer lasting.

As always, it is a personal preference. If a latex-allergy is not a concern but comfort, fit and durability are, check out our shop for your preferred glove option.

As a dental professional, you may spend a lot of time working closely with your patients to help them improve their oral health through restorative and cosmetic procedures, such as crowns, bridges, and implants. While helping each patient improve the condition and overall appearance of their teeth, it’s not uncommon for them to need to wear something temporary until the permanent fixture is ready. When creating temporary crowns, bridges, veneers, inlays, and more, selecting the right shade to match the rest of the teeth is essential. If you’re not choosing a shade that gets as close to the patient’s natural teeth as possible, the material will stick out like a sore thumb and may cause patients to feel self-conscious about the appearance of their teeth.


You Can Choose Between Five Different Shades for Each Patient

When working with a patient, you’ll have five different shades to choose from, one of which will be the closest match with the natural color of their teeth. These shades include:


Shade A1

The A1 shade is a typical white shade designed to match those with whiter teeth. In addition, it’s the ideal shade for those with recently bleached and whitened teeth because of its brightness.


Shade A2

A2 shade has a bit more discoloration to it. Although the color is still white, it has a slight touch of yellow, standard in aging adults and those who consume products that may slightly stain the teeth, such as coffee and cigarettes.


Shade A3

The A3 shade has a slightly reddish-brown appearance. While this may seem dark, it’s the average color for most adults who haven’t undergone whitening procedures to lift stains from the surface of the teeth.


Shade B1

Although it’s lighter than A3, B1 is a darker shade of white that people with slight staining of the teeth tend to have. It has a much darker color when compared to A1, one of the top-rated shades for those who want the brightest, whitest smile possible.


Shade Bleach

The Bleach shade is one of the whitest options and is best for patients who’ve used whitening products or have had whitening treatments done in the office.


The Temporary Materials Are Easy to Use and Dry Quickly

The availability of temporary crown and bridge material shades that match closely with each patient’s natural teeth will leave them more satisfied with the appearance of their temporary fixture. However, there is even more to love about these products. You’ll have 40 seconds of working time, and the material sets within four minutes, regardless of the shade you’re using on the patient. As a result, you can work quicker and more efficiently to create temporary fixtures that your patients will use until their permanent piece is ready.

Selecting materials in the correct colors for your patients when preparing temporary crowns and other dental products is a necessity. At PlastCare USA, we provide a broad range of temporary crown and bridge material shades to ensure that you can offer the closest match possible. The superior ingredients used to prepare these components are easy to work with, dry quickly, and provide the durability patients need when waiting for their permanent crowns and bridges.

When you’re tired of wearing the KN95 due to its many flaws, the ASTM Level 3 mask is worth consideration. It’s not uncommon to hear about the importance of wearing a mask that provides the maximum protection to have a better defense against airborne particles, including viruses, with most people mentioning the KN95 all the time. But what happens when this mask isn’t working out well for you? If you’re wondering whether any other option exists to keep you safe and help lower your risk of exposure to airborne particles, the ASTM Level 3 mask is what you need.


The ASTM Level 3 Masks Offers Incredible Filtration


When prioritizing filtration efficiency, the ASTM Level 3 mask is a must-have because it’s known for filtering up to 98 percent of all airborne particles, making it comparable to the level of filtration provided by the KN95. Because of its higher filtration rate compared to other masks, including cloth options, it’s safe to use when completing tasks throughout the day, whether there is a low, moderate, or higher risk of exposure to fluids. While it’s great for professionals in various work environments, this type of mask is an excellent solution for dental hygienists who’d like to have more protection with greater comfort, flexibility, and breathability.


KN95 Masks Don’t Always Fit Properly


If you’ve ever worn a KN95 mask on your face, you may already understand the struggle of getting it to fit comfortably. Unfortunately, an improper fit creates more significant risks and can lead to added exposure that you’re trying to avoid. If you’re wearing a mask with openings in different spots because it’s not conforming to the shape of your face or fitting correctly without pulling on your ears, it’s going to put you at risk of coming in direct contact with airborne particles, some of which can easily get you sick. The lack of proper fit is a struggle, but you’ll quickly notice that the ASTM Level 3 masks fit better on a broad range of people, regardless of their facial structures and the size of different features, such as their noses.


Some Knockoff KN95 Masks Exist


With each day that passes, purchasing KN95 masks becomes a greater risk because more manufacturers are producing a growing number of knockoffs that make it difficult to tell the real ones apart from the fake ones. Unfortunately, while the knockoffs may look the same as the original KN95 masks, they won’t offer the same level of filtration, putting everyone at risk who ends up wearing them.


Prioritize Your Health and Safety with Comfortable ASTM Level 3 Masks


Keep yourself protected while at work by wearing the ASTM Level 3 masks that offer the desired filtration without common issues people tend to deal with when wearing the KN95 masks. Here at PlastCare USA, we’re a leading provider of durable and dependable medical supplies and protective gear that can help lower your risk of exposure while you focus on getting your job done. In addition, our Level 3 masks are more comfortable, fit much better, are easier to breathe in, and offer the defense you need.