Sleep Dentistry - An answer for the Dentally Nervous?
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In case you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- and i also mean who REALLY doesn't
like dental appointments, to begin being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you might
have wondered whether you will find there's way of having your dental treatment done without you
being forced to be aware of what's going on.
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You will end up pleased to know that you'll find options for people like yourself! Your dental
treatment could be carried out in a Dentist's office while you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation
in an appointment that is sometimes called "Sleep Dentistry".
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It's important for you to realize that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really
drift off during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, many people who receive "Sleep
Dentistry" will have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep for my dental work'. Let's
see what that really means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the method of giving sedative drugs to a person
through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, through which a registered practitioner administers
the sedative medications. The sufferer rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, and also the dental
treatment is done while they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and
do take a long time to wear off. However, people generally only have to remain under supervision
inside the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they are sufficiently
recovered to depart the dental office, they do so under the supervision associated with an adult
family member or friend, who then needs to stay with them in your own home until the effects of
the sedation are totally gone.
This type of sedation is additionally called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains
conscious constantly during the appointment (unlike a general anaesthetic where these are
completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they'll doze off a little, if the dentist asks
them something they are easily roused and will generally answer it.
You could be wondering how a conscious patient could ever refer to intravenous sedation as "Sleep
The result lies in one of the unwanted effects of the sedative drugs which can be used: most patients
undergoing intravenous sedation every year some level of amnesia. They will often remember
arriving at the dentist, they may remember areas of the trip home, however they seldom remember
many details at all about the dental treatment itself. So far as they are concerned, we were holding
'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".
Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry isn't without risks, your dentist will always discuss them you
before you make your appointment. Only a well-trained and registered team of professionals can
deliver this kind of sedation. It is for this reason that only a few Dental Practices ever offer this
service. Your National Dental Association will be able to help you find an appropriately qualified and
registered practice in your area.
Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry won't ever cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety.
It will, however, provide an selection for people who otherwise might not exactly seek the dental
treatment they require, and knowing that it really is available can make patients feel far more
relaxed about ongoing dentistry.