Sleep dentistry (or sedation dentistry) is the process of having dental procedures completed whilst under a general anaesthetic. In sleep dentistry, medication is used to put the patient to sleep for the duration of the procedure, in order to decrease anxiety and pain. The goal of sleep dentistry is to ensure the maximum comfort of the patient by decreasing awareness and recollection of the procedure and minimising the pain.
Who should use sleep dentistry?
People who experience mild to severe anxiety about visiting the dentist would benefit from sleep dentistry.
Sleep dentistry is also suitable for people with special needs or young children, who might find it difficult to undergo longer or more complex procedures while awake.
What are the benefits?
The main benefit of sleep dentistry is the alleviation of anxiety. Many patients who fear going to the dentist, or have a phobia of needles or certain dental procedures may avoid going to the dentist for years.
Sleep dentistry offers these patients a stress-free alternative and encourages more frequent visits to the dentist, which improves overall health and reduces the risk of dental complications.
Sleep dentistry also means that patients are able to have procedures they would otherwise put off or avoid altogether, such as extractions or fillings.
It can also play a part in reducing or preventing dental phobia altogether – by avoiding the possibility of a negative experience at the dentist.
What types of treatments are available?
A wide range of treatments can be conducted under sleep dentistry – from standard preventative procedures, to oral and gum surgery.
At Advanced Dental Group, we offer the following sleep dentistry procedures:
- Dental extraction (including wisdom teeth removal)
- Gum surgery
- General dentistry treatments for uncooperative children and people with special needs.
What is the procedure?
If a patient desires a sleep dentistry procedure and it is appropriate for the situation, we will book in a suitable time for the procedure and calculate the suitable level of sedation. The sedation or general anesthesia will then be carried out by an Anesthetist. Once the patient has been sedated, the procedure itself follows the same standards and processes as general dentistry.
How can I prepare for the procedure?
Patients undergoing sleep dentistry procedures are required to refrain from eating and drinking from midnight of the night before the procedure.
What can I expect after the procedure?
Following the procedure, it is common for patients to experience drowsiness, muscle aches and other symptoms associated with the administration of anaesthesia.
Although recovery periods will vary depending on individual circumstances and the type of procedure, most patients will be discharged that day. After being discharged, patients should be taken home by someone else and refrain from driving.
*Any sedation or general anaesthetic procedure carries risk. Before proceeding you should seek an opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.