How can sleep dentistry be helpful? What is sleep dentistry and who can benefit from it? Sleep dentistry or sedation dentistry is a type of method used in dental treatment for individuals who have a fear of going to a dentist. It is a method of dentistry with less pain and will help people with anxiety going to a dentist.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry, known now as sedation dentistry, is used in dental treatment for patients who have fears of doing the procedure. This method will help you reduce the discomfort, anxiety and pain while you undergo the procedure. Medications or local anesthesia are used in accomplishing this method and will help you relax during the procedure.
Sleep dentistry is also referred by medical practitioners as procedural sedation and analgesia. In the past sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry are also called:
- happy gas
- happy air
- twilight sleep
- laughing gas
Sedation dentistry can be used from an invasive procedure to a simple one like tooth cleaning. Sleep dentistry can also be used during minor surgical procedures and endoscopies to help in the relaxation of patients and minimize their discomfort. Although sedation dentistry is an effective method, its efficacy and safety are still debated by medical practitioners as its effects affect the breathing and heart rate of the patient.
Levels of sedation
Sedation dentistry or sleep dentistry helps you in relaxing during dental treatment by using medications. You are typically awake, except those who are under general anesthesia. The level of sedation depends on the severity of the fear a patient had. Here are the three sedation levels that will be administered to you by a medical professional or a dentist.
- In minimal sedation, you will be awake throughout the procedure but at the same time, relaxed.
- Moderate sedation will let you have a loss memory or will not recall what happened during the procedure and will have a slur conversation.
- For deep sedation, you will be at the edge of consciousness but will still be awake.
- A patient who is under general anesthesia will be totally unconscious throughout the dental treatment. You will not have any memory of what happened during the procedure.
Types of sedation
If you have fear or anxiety on undergoing a procedure, there are types of sedation that will help you in relaxing. Here are types of sedation used in dentistry and will be administered by your dentist.
- An Inhaled type of sedation
In an inhaled minimal sedation type, your dentist will use nitrous oxide, also called laughing gas, with oxygen by using a mask over your nose. The gas will help you relax during dental treatment. The amount of sedation that you will inhale is controlled by your dentist and will wear off quickly. After the procedure, you can still drive your way home. Our Dental Care located in Drummoyne offers this type of sedation.
- Oral sedation
Oral sedation can range from minimal to moderate, depending on the amount of dose given to you. Halcion, a member of the Valium family, is typically used in oral sedation. This pill will make you drowsy but still awake. A patient with this type of sedation can easily be awakened by a tender shake.
- An IV moderate type of sedation
In an IV moderate sedation type, a sedation medicine will be injected to your vein through an IV and take effect quickly. And this will allow your dentist to regulate the amount of sedation you receive.
- General anesthesia and deep sedation
Deep sedation is a sedation type wherein you will be either almost unconscious during dental treatment. As with general anesthesia, you will be completely unconscious and not wake up until the medication wears off.
- Irrespective of sedation types that you will be given, a local anesthetic will typically be needed in relieving pain if the treatment causes any discomfort.
Candidates for Sleep dentistry
Sedation dentistry is most suitable for you if you have real anxiety or fear that prevents you from going to the dentist. Sedation dentistry may also be fitting for individuals who are as follows.
- If you can’t sit still in a dentist’s chair.
- Sedation dentistry may be administered to you if you have a low pain threshold.
- Sleep dentistry will be given to you if you have susceptible teeth.
- A patient who needs a large amount of dental work will undergo sleep dentistry.
- If a patient has a bad gag reflex.
- Children will sometimes be given sedation if they refuse to cooperate or terrified of going to a dentist. Nitrous oxide or laughing gas will be given to children that will undergo dental treatment.
Safety of Sleep dentistry
Getting anesthesia has its risks, but it will be usually safe if a trained dentist will administer it. There are also exceptions; individuals who have obstructive sleep apnea or obese have to talk to their doctor before receiving anesthesia as they may be complications that will develop when they undergo anesthesia. Here are the things that you should remember before receiving sedation or anesthesia.
- Your dentist will go over your medical history first before the procedure. Your dentist will assess if you are eligible for sedation and will ask for any medications that you’re currently taking.
- Asking your dentist what appropriate dose of sedative for you and if approved by the FDA, will keep you safe from an overdose.
- It is also important to ask you dentist his sedation training experience to keep you safe.
- A detailed for of the risks of sedation should be given to you by your dentist. If there are unclear words, ask your dentist for clarifications.
- The dentist should have complete machines for sedation and should monitor your vital signs during the treatment.