When it comes to visiting the dentist to get any type of work done, there are many people who experience anxiety and end up compromising their dental health. To help fight these fears and anxiety, Sindledecker Dentistry offers sleep dentistry to our patients for most of our procedures.
What is sleep dentistry?
Sleep dentistry, also known as sedation dentistry, involves the use of a pill or injection to help patients relax and have an anxiety-free experience while they undergo any dental procedure.
Types of sleep dentistry
For sleep dentistry, there are different types of methods offered but the type of method used depends on what procedure is being done and the preference of the patient. Most patients choose to use nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, to help them achieve relaxation. Other methods of sedation can be delivered orally or intravenously. Depending on the patients level of anxiety, they may require different degrees of sedation. These can include:
- Conscious sedation: With this method of sedation, patients are relaxed but also remain awake to repsond to the dentist. This method is the one most dentists use.
- Deep sedation: Deep sedation allows patients with higher levels of anxiety to feel more comfortable. This method puts the patient in a state of sedation somewhere between conscious and unconsciousness. In this state, the patient cannot respond to the dentist and may require breathing assistance.
- Unconsciousness: This level of sedation is only occasionally necessary. However, if it is needed, the doctor will administer general anesthesia which may bring about some added risks. Oral surgery is usually the only procedure that requires this level of sedation.
If a patient is claustrophobic, has a blocked nasal passage, is obese, or suffers from obstructive sleep apnea, we do not recommend intravenous sedation.
Benefits of sleep dentistry
There are many benfits for people that choose sleep dentistry to help get them through their dental fears and anxiety of dental visits. For example, sleep dentistry allows patients to undergo lenghthy procedures and have it only feel as if minutes have gone by. Also, with sleep dentistry, dentists can perform extensvie treatments in only one to two appointments. Sleep dentistry may also benefist those who:
- Have difficulty sitting still
- Require large amounts of dental work
- Gag easily
- Teeth or gums are sensitive
- Have a low threshhold for pain
Side effects of sleep dentistry
The risk of using sedation is usually low but some side effects may occur. Some side effects that patients may experience include nausea, dizziness, and drowsiness. Due to some of the side effects of sedation, the patient may require to be driven home following the completion of the procedure.