Why Sleep Dentistry May Be a Good Option for You

Posted on June 1st, 2022 at 2:11 PM
Why Sleep Dentistry May Be a Good Option for You

Are you someone who starts feeling nervous and anxious every time you have a dental appointment coming up? If so, sleep dentistry may be a good option for you.

Whether you have mild dental anxiety or a more serious dental phobia, you should never let it prevent you from getting the crucial dental care your teeth need. Sleep dentistry can help you manage any type of dental stress and make your next visit to the dentist’s office completely comfortable!

What is sleep dentistry?

Sleep dentistry, also known as sleep sedation dentistry or just sedation dentistry, is the practice of using different dental sedatives to put patients to sleep (fully or partially) during dental procedures.

While many people don’t enjoy getting dental work done, they tolerate it because we know it’s an essential part of maintaining good oral and overall health. 

However, approximately 1/5 of all dental patients experience some form of dental anxiety, with around 5-8% of patients suffering from a more extreme fear of going to the dentist (dental phobia) — and these are exactly the people who sedation dentistry is designed for.

Sleep dentistry is intended for anyone who puts off or avoids necessary dental work altogether because of anxieties and fears. Dental patients of all ages can turn to sedation dentistry to improve their experience at the dentist’s office, including children (specialized pediatric sedation dentistry is available for your children).

Benefits of sleep dentistry and sedation dentistry

Sleep dentistry is a great option for those with dental anxieties and phobias because it allows you to be completely comfortable making regular visits to the dentist for routine checkups and cleanings that you might otherwise avoid. 

If a more involved procedure is required, such as a filling or extraction, dental sedation helps conquer the fear of getting it done, so the problem you need to fix doesn’t get any worse.

Additionally, sleep dentistry is ideal for people who want to change the appearance of their teeth and improve their smiles with cosmetic dentistry, but have been too nervous about getting certain cosmetic procedures done.

What are the benefits of sedation dentistry?

  • Can be used for routine, urgent, and cosmetic dental procedures
  • You are partially or completely unconscious (asleep) during procedures
  • You feel no pain or discomfort during the procedure
  • You have little to no recollection of the procedure when you fully wake up
  • Reduces dental anxiety and helps manage dental phobia
  • Makes it easier and faster for the dentist to perform dental work (no fidgeting or restlessness)
  • Can open up the world of cosmetic dentistry to apprehensive patients

Is sleep dentistry safe?

As long as it’s performed by a certified dental anesthesiologist, sleep sedation dentistry is generally completely safe for people of all ages, from the elderly to the very young.

When you start discussing sleep dentistry with your dentist, they’ll take a look at your medical history and ask you about any allergies you have and any medications you’re taking. This allows them to determine whether sleep dentistry is right for you and ensure that there will be no adverse side effects.

Several different forms of dental sedation can be used, including IV sedation, general anesthesia, oral sedation, and nitrous oxide (laughing gas).

Your medical history, as well as your level of dental anxiety or dental phobia and the type of dental procedure required, will help the dentist determine which form of dental sedative is best for you.

Once your consultation is complete and your sleep dentistry appointment is scheduled, you can relax knowing that the procedure will be 100% comfortable — say goodbye to that sense of creeping dread in the days leading up to your appointment!

When you attend your dental appointment, the dentist will go over everything with you again before putting you to sleep, so you can ask any final questions you have beforehand. 

Once you’re ready to get started, the dentist will sedate you using the chosen form of dental sedative before performing any of the dental work. Your age, weight, and health will inform them of the correct dosage to keep you asleep for the duration of the procedure.

During your procedure, the dentist will constantly monitor all of your vital signs, including blood pressure, heart rate, and oxygen levels, to make sure you’re okay and not having any unexpected reactions to the sedatives.

What happens after you wake up from dental sedation?

After your dental work is done, you will gradually and naturally wake up from the dental sedatives.

Once you’re conscious, it’s normal to feel groggy and out of it, and the dentist may take you to a special waiting room where you can sit or lay down and relax as you continue to wake up. In fact, at Sleep Dentistry Erie, we even have a spa room that you can use after your appointment!

If you were given oral or IV sedatives, you will not be able to drive yourself home after your sleep dentistry appointment, so you’ll need a friend or family member standing by to take you home once you’re ready to go. In these cases, it’s recommended that you wait a full 24 hours before driving yourself around again.

For local anesthesia or nitrous oxide, getting back to normal is much faster, so you may be able to drive yourself after your appointment.

Once home, just make sure to follow all of your dentist’s instructions for aftercare, including sticking to any dietary restrictions and taking any oral medications.

Experience freedom from dental fear with Dr. Mahoney

At Sleep Dentistry with Dr. Kevin Mahoney, we are committed to making your next trip to the dentist fear and pain-free. Whether you’re looking for sedation dentistry for yourself or pediatric sedation dentistry for your children, we’re here to help.

Don’t let your dental anxiety prevent you from getting important dental work done any longer — contact us today for a free consultation. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team will be happy to address all your questions and concerns today!

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