What Is Sleep Dentistry?
If you are someone that has a fear of the dentist, you might find that you are skipping important dental check-ups and treatments due to the anxiety. A great way to relieve this anxiety is by asking about sleep dentistry. Here are some things to know about sleep dentistry and how it can help you.
What are the different types of sleep dentistry?
When you ask your dentist for sleep dentistry, also called sedation dentistry, they will give you a few different options. The one you choose may be due to your own comfort level, how long of a procedure you are getting, and what the dentist prefers to use. The different types of sleep dentistry vary based on the level of sedation you get. If you are getting a procedure like wisdom teeth extraction, you might want to be completely asleep, which you get with general anesthesia.
There is also deep sedation, which has you nearly unconscious, but you can be woken up easily. This is good for people with severe anxiety or who are having a procedure like a dental implant or root canal. There is moderate sedation, sometimes called conscious sedation. You don't know much of what is going on, but you are aware. Minimal sedation is available if you just want to ease your anxiety but be aware of what is happening. Some sedation is given through an IV, while others are given orally.
Who should get sleep dentistry?
Sleep dentistry is not only good for certain dental procedures that are longer and difficult for a patient to handle, but for anyone with moderate to severe anxiety in the dentist's office. Some patients are only afraid of certain procedures, such as having a tooth pulled. Other patients need mild or moderate sedation for every visit to the dentist, even a filling or dental cleaning. Sleep dentistry is ideal for someone who can't visit the dentist under normal circumstances and needs sedation to cope with the appointment. It is also not uncommon to use when you have multiple treatments to get done during the same visit.
Are there any risks of using sleep dentistry?
The only risks associated with using sleep dentistry have to do with the level of sedation. For example, if you get general anesthesia, the normal risks of getting anesthesia apply. Make sure the dentist who uses this type of anesthesia has a skilled anesthesiologist to administer the medication through an IV, and ensure that the dentist will closely monitor you the entire time. Sleep dentistry may not be a good option if you have ever had a negative reaction to sedation of any kind.