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Afraid Of The Dentist? Try Sleep Dentistry

Plenty of folks avoid dental visits like the plague (actually - 1/3rd of Ozzies to be exact!)

The thought of having their teeth cleaned or extracted makes their bodies tense up. They would rather cope with the pain of a toothache than visit a dentist’s clinic. They are so phobic that they prefer not to have any treatment altogether. Sound like you?

A recent study done by a professional dental organisation showed that thirty percent of the population often avoids dentist visits due to fear. Consequently, people compromise on the health of their teeth and mouth.

For such people, sleep dentistry could not have come at any better time. What makes it even better is that it can be used for any dentistry procedure i.e. from simple tooth cleaning to invasive procedures.

What is sleep dentistry?

Also referred to as sedation dentistry, sleep dentistry is used to create a calm and anxiety-free experience for patients using sedatives. It helps folks too anxious to visit the dentist to receive the dental care they need while avoiding common dental phobia.

Sedative drugs such as depressants, tranquillisers, and anti-anxiety medications are administered prior any dentistry procedure.

How sedatives are administered

A while ago intravenous sedation (IV) was the most popular. This kind of sedation was delivered through injection into the blood vessels of the hand or arm to sedate a dental patient. IV sedation is pretty safe and efficient when done by a professional. However, sedation dentistry has evolved to calmer and conducive experiences. Patients now have better alternatives to the conventional modalities of IV’s and inhalation like those of “no needle” approach.

Oral sedation is now the most modern technique and, of course, the most appealing to patients. The procedure is easy and creates a pretty comfortable experience such that patients often don’t remember the visit. However, the patient has a level of consciousness for safety and cooperation.

How oral sedation differs from anaesthetic injections

It’s easy to assume sedation is similar to anaesthetic injections although it’s often not the case. Most dental procedures still require local anaesthesia to be injected even when sedation dentistry is being performed. The local anaesthesia helps block pain impulses from the gum tissue and teeth temporarily. During sleep dentistry, the injection is administered after you are sedated.

There are different levels of sedation:

  • Minimal sedation- here you are relaxed and awake.
  • Moderate sedation- here your speech is slow, and you may not remember much about the procedure.
  • Deep sedation- you are almost unconscious but still awake.

Benefits of sleep dentistry

sleep dentistry procedure

You will often feel like the dental procedure lasted a few minutes while it may have taken several hours. As such, complex dental procedures like smile surgeries that require multiple visits can be performed in fewer visits. If you’re unwilling to change your smile due to lengthy dental procedures, for example, try sedation dentistry. You will be relaxed throughout the process and ultimately achieve the smile you desire.

Since sedation dentistry eliminates fears that most people have, they are encouraged to do routine dental visits. Therefore, they are less likely to neglect their oral health.

Though awake during the procedure, sedation dentistry helps you feel relaxed. Note that though sleep and sedation dentistry are used interchangeably, you do not sleep during the procedure. The effects produced by the sedative drugs may however make you feel sleepy.

In conclusion, sleep dentistry is a breakthrough in the dental care field. Patients no longer have to dread visiting the dentist. However, it is important to have a caregiver accompany you to the dental clinic. He or she may drive you to the hospital in case you take the oral medication before arriving for your appointment. they may also drive you home after the procedure is complete.

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