homepage services Top Dentist testimonials Dental Fear Dental Techniques In the news

Article: Ways to prevent gagging during dental treatment DR. JERRY GORDON
A caring and concerned attitude by the dentist can often go a long way to allaying a patient's anxiety and can significantly reduce gagging. The dentist should then find out what procedures or situations have triggered gagging in the past and see if alternative ones can be used.

Gagging is an upsetting problem that affects some patients during dental treatment. Gagging is the sensation of choking that causes the throat to spasm and makes swallowing and breathing difficult. Dental patients who are gaggers will often avoid dental care for long periods of time, and then become more susceptible to tooth decay and other serious dental infections. Gagging may result from many routine dental procedures, but is most common during intra-oral (within the mouth) x-rays, impressions (taking molds), and for procedures that require the mouth to be held open for extended periods of time.

Most gagging problems are either mild or moderate and can be resolved if a few steps are taken. The first thing the dentist must do is to listen to the patient about their problem. A caring and concerned attitude by the dentist can often go a long way to allaying a patient's anxiety and can significantly reduce gagging. The dentist should then find out what procedures or situations have triggered gagging in the past and see if alternative ones can be used. I have found that several techniques are highly affective for helping gaggers. I will often use a topical anesthetic spray to numb the mouth and throat which acts to reduce the gag reflex. Other methods, including the use of super-fast setting impression materials, a rubber dam (a barrier that blocks fluids and other particles from entering the mouth), and nitrous oxide gas (Article: Patient Benefits Laughing Gas) can significantly control gagging in most patients.

Some gagging problems are severe and difficult to treat even by the most experienced dentists. These patients will often suffer from dental phobia (Article: How Dental Fears Work), and avoid dental treatment except when in severe pain. To treat a severe gagger, the dentist should first employ the same measures used for mild to moderate gaggers and also be extremely patient. The dentist may also consider having a patient lift his or her legs up off the dental chair during dental treatment, and provide that treatment in short increments. For severe gaggers who cannot tolerate intra-oral x-rays, a panoramic x-ray which keeps the film outside the mouth can be used. In some situations, unconventional measures may be required. I once had to take an impression with the patient standing up to help defeat the gag reflex. As a last resort, severe gaggers can have dental treatment performed at a hospital under IV sedation or general anesthesia.

Search all articles  

Please use copy and paste the following code to link to this article:

Digg Del.icio.us reddit facebook Stumbleupon

 
 
Monday:  
9am to 8pm
Tuesday:  
9am to 9pm
Wednesday:  
10am to 9pm
Thursday:  
9am to 9pm
Friday:  
Closed
Saturday:  
9am to 1pm
 
 

Have a suggestion?

Dr. Gordon is the dental columnist for the Bucks County Courier Times. He has published more than 300 articles since 1998. He is a recognized dental expert for Dr. Oz.

New dental providers may harm the poor and uninsured
Healthcare in America has changed. Even before the passage of the affordable care act (ACA)... more

Doctors play key role in curbing prescription drug abuse
Medical doctors, dentists and other licensed practitioners commonly use prescription... more

Ten tips for beating dental fears
Does the sound of the dentist’s drill make you cringe? Does the sight of the needle make you scared and nervous? more

Read more on Dr. Gordon's Blog.

Parliamo italiano, Мы говорим по-русски

Search all articles:


Dr. Jerry Gordon’s academic
credentials, affiliations, and
community involvement.
Watch Dr. Gordon and his patients talk about dental fear, and how they overcame it.
Hear what area doctors are saying about Dr. Gordon and The Dental Comfort Zone.

Watch Dr. Gordon perform a root
canal, crown, dentures, and air abrasion.
Join our Mail
©2014 All Rights Reserved | The Dental Comfort Zone | 215-639-0571 | 2734 Street Rd, Bensalem, PA 19020 | Sitemap