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Sleep Dentistry - A remedy for the Dentally Nervous?



Daniel Daniel Dentistry - If you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- and I mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to begin being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you could have wondered whether there exists a way of having your dental treatment done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.

You will end up pleased to know that you will find options for people like yourself! Your dental care could be carried out in a Dentist's office when you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation in an appointment that is sometimes referred to as "Sleep Dentistry".

It's important for you to are aware that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really get to sleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" do have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep in my dental work'. Let's see what that actually means...

"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the method of giving sedative drugs to anyone through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, whereby a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The individual rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, and also the dental treatment is done whilst they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take several hours to wear off. However, people generally only have to remain under supervision inside the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they are sufficiently recovered to go out of the dental office, they are doing so under the supervision of an adult family member or friend, who then has to stay with them at home until the effects of the sedation are totally gone.

This type of sedation can also be called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious all the time during the appointment (unlike an overall anaesthetic where they are completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they can doze off a little, but if the dentist asks them an issue they are easily roused and definately will generally answer it.

You may well be wondering how a conscious patient could ever refer to intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?

The solution lies in one of the negative effects of the sedative drugs which can be used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation get each year some level of amnesia. They could remember arriving at the office, they may remember elements of the trip home, nonetheless they seldom remember many details whatsoever about the dental treatment itself. As much as they are concerned, we were holding 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".

Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry is just not without risks, however, your dentist will always discuss these with you before you make your appointment. Only a well-trained and registered group of professionals can deliver this kind of sedation. It's for this reason that only a number of Dental Practices ever offer this particular service. Your National Dental Association can help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in your town.

Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry will not cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It can, however, provide an option for people who otherwise might not seek the dental treatment they might need, and knowing that it is available can make patients feel additional relaxed about ongoing dentistry.