What is Sleep Dentistry and is it Right for You?
‘Sleep’ and ‘dentist’ are two words you may not think go together. But for anyone with severe anxiety of dentists, or those undergoing more involved procedures, sleep dentistry is a service designed to put you at ease.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry, also known as sedation dentistry, is just how it sounds: dental sedation to help patients relax during dental procedures or surgeries. For some procedures, a light sedation is administered to keep you awake but relaxed. On the other end of the sleep dentistry, spectrum IV sedation is provided by a specialist while a dentist operates on you.
What Kinds of Sedations are Used?
Depending on your level of fear and the dentists’ recommendation, the type of sedation used can take a variety of forms. The most common dental sedation methods are inhaled and intravenous, we are able to offer these two options at our dental practice in Perth.
Nitrous oxide – or ‘laughing gas’ – is mixed with oxygen and administered in low doses through a mask for mild to moderate sedation. The effects also wear off quickly so you may even be able to drive yourself home.
Moderate dental sedation by intravenous drug delivery is another common sleep dentistry method. Similar to inhaled sedation the specialist is in control of your dosage, but IV sedation tends to produce a moderate to deep sedation. We are able to coordinate a mobile specialist to provide this option within our clinic.
An anaesthetist will administer drugs that make you completely unconscious during the procedure. You cannot be awakened while under general anaesthesia and generally a drug is used to reverse the effects before they wear off naturally. For this method of sedation, you would typically need to go to a hospital. This wouldn’t be offered at a dental clinic such as Glen Forrest Dental Care.
Who is Sleep Dentistry Most Suitable For?
Sleep dentistry is most appropriate for people with bad anxiety of dentists, or those who may not be able to complete a routine procedure without sedation:
- Patients with bad anxiety or previous traumatising experiences
- Small children or special needs patients
- Patients undergoing large amounts of dental work required. Such as extractions, extensive filling work or implant placements.
Is it safe?
Provided dental sedation is administered by a qualified, trained and attentive dentist then generally the procedures are quite safe. Of course, as with any routine medical treatment, there are individual risk factors that should weigh into your decision.
Before pursuing sleep dentistry or dental general anaesthesia you should consult the team at Glen Forrest Dental Care to ensure you are fully aware of your own medical history, as well as what to expect.