Dental anxiety and phobia are common problems affecting children, but adults are no exception. They may cause one to avoid or delay getting treatment, causing dental problems to worsen. If you or your child dread dental visits, you may be happy to learn about sleep dentistry – a dental service that helps you keep calm and at ease during treatment. Anyone can benefit from Sunnyvale sleep dentistry, but dentists often recommend this option for those with the following:
- Fear of visiting the dentist
- Dental Anxiety
- Extreme teeth sensitivity
- Decreased sensitivity to local anesthesia
- Dental Anxiety
- Fear of needles
- Over-sensitive gag reflex
- Difficulty controlling movements
- Special needs, including physical, cognitive, or behavioral
The sedation used in sleep dentistry
Different levels of sedation or sleep dentistry are based on a patient’s unique needs. The type of sedation the dentist uses depends on the length of the procedure, your anxiety level, health history, and personal preferences. The most common types of sedation include oral conscious sedation, nitrous oxide, and intravenous or IV sedation.
For this type of sedation, your dentist fits you with a mask or nosepiece through which you inhale nitrous oxide. The calming effects of nitrous oxide or laughing gas usually begin within three to five minutes after inhalation. The dentist adjusts the amount of gas you inhale accordingly throughout the procedure. Once the treatment is over, you will receive poor oxygen to flush the nitrous oxide out of your system. Usually, laughing gas leaves your body quickly so you can drive home after the procedure.
Oral conscious sedation
Your dentist gives you a sedative medication (usually in pill form) about an hour before the procedure begins. Most dentists use triazolam, but other drugs like zaleplon and lorazepam have similar effects. Children who can’t swallow a pill can benefit from liquid sedation. The medicine makes you very dizzy, meaning you may fall asleep. But you won’t be unconscious, so you can communicate with your dentist if necessary, and you will awaken with a gentle nudge. Oral sedation temporarily affects your memory, so you will need someone to drive you home after the procedure.
This is the deepest form of conscious sedation available in dental offices. Your dentist delivers sedative medications directly into your bloodstream via an IV line. During the procedure, the dentist will monitor your heart rate, oxygen levels, and blood pressure and can adjust your dosage at any time. In case of any complications, the dentist can use reversal medications.
IV sedation causes you to fall asleep; therefore, you will have little to no memory of the procedure when you wake up. Dentists recommend this sedation for individuals with severe dental anxiety or those undergoing lengthy procedures.
Advantages of sleep dentistry
The main benefit of sedation dentistry is that it eases anxieties and phobias, helping one to stay calm during dental procedures. As such, the dentist can work faster, resulting in fewer appointments. Also, with sedation dentistry, people with dental anxiety don’t need to postpone appointments with their dentists.
Consult your Perio & Implant Center specialist to know how you can benefit from sleep dentistry.