Sleep dentistry or Sedation dentistry is perfect for anxious patients and cases where there is gagging or difficulty opening the mouth. It’s also perfect for patients who simply do not want the experience of having dental treatment.
Fear and anxiety are some of the most common reasons why people avoid receiving necessary dental care. Whilst we endeavour to make our routine appointments as easy and pain-free as possible, for some of our patients, it is not enough. Patients who experience more than the average nervousness relating to dentistry often choose to supplement their appointment with dental sedation including sleep dentistry.
What is dental sedation?
Sedation refers to a group of procedures that act to alleviate anxiety, stress and pain in the dental setting. These include medication such as oral sedatives taken shortly before a dental appointment, Penthrox (the green whistle) and nitrous oxide as an inhaled sedative, IV sedation in the dental chair, and general anaesthetic in a day surgery setting. Sleep dentistry generally refers to IV sedation in the dental chair.
How does sleep dentistry work?
Sleep dentistry involves the administration of a sedative intra-venously by a dentist with post-graduate training or another qualified medical professional. This allows patients to enter a conscious state of deep relaxation for the entire duration of the appointment. Patients are continuously monitored throughout the procedure by both the dentist and dental/medical sedation practitioner. Recovery time is minimal, and most patients recover fully within the next few days. We do require patients to be dropped off, picked up and supported for the next 24 hours by a friend or family member.
Who can benefit from sleep dentistry?
Sleep dentistry and other methods of sedation in the dental setting used to alleviate anxiety and nervousness relating to dentistry are very useful for patients who have experienced the following:
High sensitivity with teeth and gums preventing routine dentistry.
Difficulty coping with procedures of longer length.
Difficultly being completely numb after local anaesthetic.
Needle phobia, and fear of dental instruments.
Discomfort with sounds and tastes associated with dental procedures.
Complex and involved problems or procedures.
If fear and anxiety relating to dentistry has been holding you back from attending a dentist, please give us a call. We will be more than happy to find a way around fear and anxiety so that you can continue to look after your dental health with ease.