We Now Offer Exparel for Oral Surgery

We are pleased to announce that we are offering Exparel for non-opioid pain relief after oral surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth extractions. We are one of only a handful of dental offices across Connecticut publicly offering this solution. Dr. Nick Calcaterra personally administers Exparel himself in our Orange, CT office.

What is Exparel?

Exparel is a medication used to provide long lasting pain relief after invasive surgical procedures such as wisdom teeth removal with IV sedation. It is a liquid medication that comes in vials. Dr. Calcaterra administers the medication directly into the surgical sites immediately upon completion of the procedure. Once administered, Exparel acts as a long lasting numbing agent, providing pain relief for up to 4 days.

Exparel non-opioid pain reliever seen in Orange, Connecticut

A box of Exparel medication that Dr. Nick Calcaterra administers after wisdom teeth surgery in our office in Orange, CT

When used along with traditional pain medications such as high dose Motrin (a.k.a. ibuprofen), our patients need reduced amounts of opioids, or in many cases do not need opioids at all.

Why Exparel?

Vicodin prescribed after oral surgery in Orange, CT

Vicodin – called hydrocodone – is typically prescribed after oral surgery

As you are likely aware, the use of opioids (a.k.a. narcotics such as Vicodin and Percocet) in the United States has created a crisis. There are many factors behind the crisis, but the end result for certain users of opioids is addiction, disability, and sometimes even death.

There is a wealth of research which shows that for many patients – typically older teenagers and young adults – their first exposure to opioids is after third molar extractions. Generally speaking, research has shown that those individuals who received narcotic prescriptions for wisdom teeth were more likely to develop addiction problems later on in life.

Given the risks associated with opioids and the crisis, Exparel was developed. Exparel has been proven in clinical studies to reduce the need for opioids following wisdom teeth removal.

Are Opioids Still Necessary for Wisdom Teeth Extractions?

Sometimes (in our opinion and experience).

Pain affects people differently. Wisdom teeth cases vary significantly in their surgical complexity and invasiveness. Our patients’ medical histories, age, and other factors also impact how much pain they will experience and what type of medications they will require afterwards.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with Exparel for wisdom teeth extractions in Orange, Connecticut

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with Exparel he is about to administer after a wisdom teeth removal case in Orange, CT

Given the dynamic and unpredictable nature of post-surgical pain, we will re-phrase the question:

Do we still prescribe opioids after tough surgical cases? Sometimes

But we feel comfortable stating the following:

Based on our own use of Exparel on patients requiring wisdom teeth extractions, we’ve witnessed firsthand a reduction and sometimes elimination of the need for opioids.

Can Exparel Help?

The short answer is: probably.

Talk to your dentist or oral surgeon. See if they offer Exparel. See what their experiences have been. Use the internet. Learn more on our Exparel page. Read about Exparel on Reddit.

Appointment request for wisdom teeth surgery with exparel

Do you need your wisdom teeth out and want Exparel to reduce the pain afterwards? Are you looking to avoid opioids after oral surgery? Do you need IV sedation? Then you’ve come to the right place. Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra awarded Master Status from American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

Dr. Nick Calcaterra recently sat for and passed the rigorous exam to become a Master in the College of Sedation in Dentistry. This makes Dr. Calcaterra the only general dentist in the entire State of Connecticut who has achieved this prestigious certification who is actively providing IV sedation.

This accomplishment, along with being one of only a select few general dentists in all of Connecticut with a license to provide sedation, has made him the most accomplished sedation dentist in the entire state.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra Master College of Sedation in Dentistry

What is the College of Sedation in Dentistry?

American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

American Dental Society of Anesthesiology

The College of Sedation in Dentistry was created and is maintained by the American Dental Society of Anesthesiology. ADSA, as it is called, is the professional organization representing dental professionals who employ advanced forms of sedation and anesthesia to patients.

The College of Sedation is designed primarily for general dentists and periodontists who wish to further their anesthesia skills. Achieving Master Status – which is the highest level a general dentist or periodontist can achieve – indicates that the provider has complete mastery of all the skills needed to perform IV sedation in his or her office. The rigorous prerequisites – along with a three hour board exam – make it extremely difficult for providers to achieve this status.

Why Sedation Dentistry with Dr. Nick Calcaterra?

Dr. Nick Calcaterra’s vast experience and expertise in sedation for dental patients is what sets him apart. And becoming the only general dentist in Connecticut to be admitted as a Master is testament to his commitment and knowledge.

Dr. Nick Calcaterra Master College of Sedation

Dr. Nick Calcaterra with his two Anesthesia assistants Cyndi and Amanda.

Dr. Nick averages over 100 sedation cases per year, performing procedures such as extractions, root canals, and even simple fillings. For Dr. Calcaterra, sedations are an almost daily procedure. Most other sedation providers – assuming they even have a sedation license – average only one or two cases per month.

Our vast experience in providing twilight anesthesia to patients – along with our caring staff – and Dr. Calcaterra’s deep expertise – are why Connecticut patients choose our office.

Sedation Dentistry requestAre you interested in learning more about sedation dentistry? Then you’ve come to the right place! Go to this page to request a consultation or call us at (203) 799 – 2929. Dr. Nick and two assistants Cyndi and Amanda will be happy to help you.

 

Liz’s IV Sedation Video – Over 110,000 YouTube Views!

(Note: this post was updated to reflect the total number of views)

That’s right. Our video – Liz’s IV Sedation Wisdom Teeth Journey – has been viewed over one hundred thousand times on YouTube! And even more impressive, it racked up this number of views in only 18 months. In the video, you see Liz during her third molar extraction procedure – being sedated and having her teeth removed – and then hear her talk about it when we interview her several weeks later.

Is the viral YouTube popularity due to our brilliant videography? Our excellent surgical techniques? Our expertise in IV sedation? Our awesome staff? All of the above? Check it out and see for yourself:

What do you think? Did you watch all 6 minutes of it? We bet you did – along with over 110,000 other YouTube viewers!

We believe the explosive YouTube popularity has to do with several factors:

  1. Great videography and editing by our multifunctional Dental Assistant Cyndi.
  2. Compassionate surgical and anesthesia skills exhibited by Dr. Nick in the video.
  3. A great patient – Liz – who remembers almost nothing of the procedure – but who was kind enough to allow us to document her surgical journey.

It could also be due to her virtually painless healing period afterwards. Or the mango sherbet (go to the 3:55 point to see Liz as for it during the sedation).

Want to be featured in one of our YouTube videos and become an overnight viral sensation? OK – we can’t guarantee that – but we can guarantee a great experience with one of Connecticut’s most experienced sedation dentists.

appointment request with Dr. Nick Calcaterra Sedation DentistInterested in learning more about IV sedation with Dr. Nick? Need your wisdom teeth removed and want twilight anesthesia? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

Trypanophobia: How We Overcome Fear of Dental Needles with IV Sedation

Needle phobia photo and how we treat trypanophobia.

This makes many people nervous.

Fear of needles, often times referred to as trypanophobia, is a very common phobia. Fear of the dentist, also called odontophobia, is frequently seen in patients who are phobic of injections, needles, or other sharp objects.

Then end result is a patient who is terrified of coming to the dentist.

How do we overcome these fears, including needle phobia? With IV sedation.

But, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to notice the irony in the above statement. After all, how are you going to overcome a fear of needles by sticking a needle into a vein in someone’s arm?

Think it’s impossible? Think again! Read on to learn how we do it.

About IV Twilight Sedation

IV sedation you will float in the clouds and not be scared of needles

You will feel like you are floating in the clouds. No fear of needles up here!

IV sedation, frequently called twilight sedation, as the name would imply, puts you into a twilight state. But what is a twilight state?

A twilight state is a level of sedation in which you are very sleepy, your eyes are heavy, all your anxieties are gone, and you don’t care what’s going on. You may fall asleep. And you will likely have no memory of anything that occurred when you are in the twilight state.

Our experience treating thousands of fearful patients is that for the majority of them – 99.9% – we can overcome trypanophobia and odontophobia – using IV sedation. If you’re floating in the clouds, your fears are long gone!

About Fear of Needles

Dental injection photo with big needle

The thought of this makes some patients very scared

Fear of needles is quite common. How common? Depending upon the source, approximately 20% to 22% of the population. In fact, there is even a diagnostic medical code for it (F40.231 for those interested).

Needle phobias are associated with health care avoidance. The result is that patients delay/defer/postpone medical and dental treatment over this. Based on our experience, we then see patients coming in severe pain – pain that has lasted for months – because they avoided treatment due to trypanophobia and/or odontophobia.

But phobic patients can get over their fears and get treatment done – under the right conditions.

How We Overcome Trypanophobia

As stated earlier, we can get you over your needle phobia using twilight sedation. But if you’re afraid of the needle, how do you get an IV in?

We get the IV in without you even knowing it. Here’s how:

  1. We give you a relaxing pill to take the morning before your appointment. This makes you super relaxed so by the time you arrive, half of your fear of needles is already gone.
  2. We begin to administer nitrous oxide. By itself, the nitrous makes you very relaxed. But combined with the relaxing pill, you won’t even feel us scanning your arm for veins.
  3. We place a little numbing agent (lidocaine to be exact) into the site.
  4. Next thing you know, the IV is in, and you didn’t even feel it. Nor did you care!

At this point, we are all ready to begin. We begin the sedation, and all the fears dissipate. It’s that simple.

Watch us Overcome Trypanophobia

Want to see us overcome this fear? See us get an IV in without a hitch. Watch this video:

Or you can view the video directly on YouTube or visit our amazing YouTube channel. We bet this video convinced you that we can overcome nearly any fear with sedation!

Request a painless IV start for sedation.Are you afraid of needles or the dentist? Interested in sedation? We are one of Connecticut’s most experienced sedation dentistry offices. Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.