Sleep dentistry allows a patient to receive the care and detailed attention they deserve, safely and stress-free. Recommended for complex or invasive procedures, we administer a general anesthesia to make the patient fall asleep (unconscious) for the full procedure.
Also referred to as relaxation dentistry, sedation dentistry improves a patient’s comfort level while allowing the dental specialist to perform an otherwise difficult procedure. Unlike sleep dentistry, in sedation dentistry the patient is still awake but in a deeply relaxed state. Patients can typically still speak and respond to simple requests, while any worries regarding the actual procedure simply melt away…
During the initial consultation, our dental specialist will talk to you about your upcoming procedure and evaluate your physical condition to ensure sedation is right for you. We’ll also discuss the conscious sedation techniques available. Sedation can be administered orally or intravenously depending on the patient’s desires and the type of treatment being performed.
If the patient
– Suffers from anxiety over visiting a dentist or receiving dental work
– Has had a traumatic experience in the past
– Has a disability that may interfere with the dental specialist’s expertise
– Has a strong gag reflex
If the procedure
– Is complex, lengthy or invasive
– Could cause undo pain or discomfort during surgery
Painlessly administered via a face mask. The patient falls asleep and is completely unaware of the procedure being performed. Available for all types of oral surgery, including even simple procedures if the patient has a high level of anxiety. Typically used for invasive procedures like wisdom teeth removal and extensive dental implant work.
Conscious Sedation Dentistry
Nitrous oxide/oxygen sedation, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is inhaled by the patient. This is the most frequently used sedation technique, and has been considered safe for decades be- cause the nitrous oxide leaves the patient’s body shortly after the procedure is complete. Some patients fall asleep from laughing gas and most experience some degree of amnesia.
Oral Moderate Sedation
Administered to the patient with a pill. Also referred to as enteral conscious sedation and orally administered sedation. All body functions remain normal and the patient is able to breathe on their own. Patients often fall asleep and amnesia is common. Unlike the inhaled method, the level of sedation for each patient is not as predictable.
Patients receiving sleep or sedation dentistry are advised to have someone accompany them to our office to provide transportation once the procedure is done. Depending on the amount and type of sedation administered, this “buddy” may also be advised to monitor the patient for the first couple hours after they return home.
There are three main types of sedation used in sleep dentistry: nitrous oxide, oral sedation, and IV sedation. Nitrous oxide, also known as laughing gas, is inhaled through a mask. Oral sedation involves taking medication by mouth, usually in the form of a pill. IV sedation involves administering the medication intravenously.
Patients who have dental anxiety, a low pain threshold, a sensitive gag reflex, or a fear of needles are good candidates for sleep dentistry. Additionally, patients who require extensive dental work or who have a complex medical history may benefit from sedation.
The length of sedation depends on the type of sedation used and the patient’s individual response to the medication. Nitrous oxide typically wears off within a few minutes after the mask is removed, while oral sedation can last several hours. IV sedation can last longer and may require a longer recovery time.
Sleep dentistry can help patients feel more comfortable and relaxed during dental procedures, which can lead to a more positive experience overall. Additionally, sedation can help reduce pain, anxiety, and discomfort associated with dental treatments.
It depends on the type of sedation used. Nitrous oxide and oral sedation typically do not cause complete unconsciousness, but can induce a state of relaxation and reduced awareness. IV sedation can cause a deeper level of sedation, and patients may not remember the procedure afterward.
Your dentist will provide you with specific instructions on how to prepare for sleep dentistry, which may include fasting before the procedure, arranging for transportation to and from the appointment, and avoiding certain medications before the procedure. It is important to follow these instructions closely to ensure a safe and successful procedure.