What is Sedation Dentistry or Sleep Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry uses sedatives, which will make you feel relaxed and sometimes slightly sleepy. Different levels of sedation are available, depending on the procedure and the level of awareness you want to have.
Oral sedatives are anti-anxiety medications, usually benzodiazepines, which you take in pill form about an hour before the dental procedure. Oral sedation will make you feel drowsy and relaxed. When combined with a local anesthetic, oral sedatives can result in entirely painless dentistry.
Another sedative option is gas or vapour, which is delivered via a whistle-like device. This kind of sedation acts instantly and wears off very quickly, so you would usually be safe to drive home after the procedure.
IV sedation uses the same kinds of sedatives as oral sedation, but the medications are delivered directly through an intravenous cannula, and therefore the effects are instant. Your dentist and anesthetist can control exactly how much sedation you receive throughout the procedure.
Occasionally, your dentist may use a general anesthetic during a dental procedure. This is usually reserved for major surgeries and the patient is unconscious throughout the procedure.
Talking to Your Dentist
If your fears are causing you to neglect to visit your dental practice or having necessary dental work carried out, then ask your dentist which painless dentistry options he or she is able to offer and is suitable for you. We can offer all forms of sedation to make you more comfortable during your dental visit.