Sleep dentistry, also known as sedation dentistry, is a method of dentistry that uses medication to put you in a state of deep relaxation while you have dental work completed. Sedation can be delivered through a mask with nitrous oxide, through a pill taken before your appointment, or through an intravenous drip, although this last method is least common these days. Once you are sedated, you will still be awake enough to cooperate with the dentist, but you may be very relaxed, time may seem to pass more quickly, and you likely won't remember much of your appointment. Sleep dentistry is offered in many situations.
You Have Dental Phobia
Perhaps the most common patients who request sleep dentistry are those with dental phobia. From small children who cannot fully comprehend dental procedures to adults who have a fear of the dentist, sleep dentistry can help people overcome their fear enough to get the treatment they need.
You Have Overly Sensitive Teeth
If you have weak enamel or sensitive gums, even basic cleanings or examinations can be uncomfortable, and local anesthetic may not help the situation when the dentist is working throughout your entire mouth. In these cases, sleep dentistry may be your best option.
You Tend to Gag
Some patients have a difficult time with the dental instruments in their mouths. When the dentist is working toward the back of your mouth, you may feel an urge to swallow or even gag. Your dentist may recommend sleep dentistry to make you more comfortable and to allow them to complete the best work possible.
You Don't React Well to Anesthetics
If you are allergic to local anesthetics or they simply do not work well on you, your dentist may suggest sleep dentistry in addition to or instead of an anesthetic, depending on the procedure you need.
You Are Undergoing a Long or Major Dental Operation
If you are getting impacted wisdom teeth removed, having an implant placed, or undergoing another type of periodontal surgery, dental sedation can make you more comfortable throughout the procedure. This is especially important for longer procedures, which can take over an hour. Sedation will allow you to remain relaxed and prevent your jaw from aching or spasming during the procedure.
Sleep dentistry can help with dental fear, but it is not only for those who are afraid of the dentist. It can help make many people's experiences more comfortable.
To learn more, contact a resource that offers sleep dentistry services.