Skip to main content

What is sleep dentistry and who should get it?

By February 19, 2021February 22nd, 2021News

Are you looking for sleep dentistry Melbourne? Coburg Dental Group has been performing sleep dentistry for over 50 years in our dedicated facility.  Our specialist anaesthetist is a medically qualified specialist who can offer a full general anaesthetic, a twilight sleep or a sedation for our patients aged from 2 years.

Sleep Dentistry Melbourne at Coburg Dental Group is a service to produce a relaxed experience for the patient by using sedative medications or a full general anaesthetic. The sedative medications do not put you to sleep although you feel very sleepy while under sedation, whereas a general anaesthetic puts you totally asleep. There are advantages and disadvantages for both techniques and your dentist will help you decide which method is best for you.

Prior to your procedure our specialist anaesthetist will consult with you via Telehealth to answer any of your questions including what type of sleep dentistry is most suited for you.

Is Sleep Dentistry right for you?

Any dental patient who has anxiety and fear about undergoing any treatment, or has a fear of needles, is likely to benefit from sleep dentistry. People who have painful, or very sensitive teeth or problems with local anaesthetic taking effect, may find it difficult to be cooperative with the dentist during dental procedures. These patients are made to feel more relaxed with Sleep Dentistry Melbourne. Anyone who has had a frightening or traumatic previous dental experience may be nervous about getting back into the dental chair or even walking in our front door. Sleep dentistry can help to overcome this.

In addition, patients with a severe gag reflex or people who suffer from medical conditions that render them unable to control their bodily movements such as Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy or dementia can benefit from having sleep dentistry.

Patients requiring extensive treatment such as having 4 wisdom teeth removed or All-On-4Ò implant surgery may benefit from being sedated or have a general anaesthetic.

Types of sedation

If you don’t wish to be fully asleep, you can have a light sedation by either taking a tablet, inhaling a gas or vapour or for a deeper sedation a sedative drug is administered into the blood stream to make you feel like you are asleep. However, you remain conscious and you’re able to follow requests from the dentist.

The sense of fear and anxiety will be replaced with a feeling of deep relaxation. Most patients will also find that they do not remember much about the experience and feel like time has passed by in a flash. Generally dental sedation is a pleasant experience for patients. Some people describe it as being like slightly intoxicated but without the hangover!

Intravenous sedation

In our clinic the intravenous sedation is administered by a medically qualified specialist anaesthetist. The drug is administered by injection in to the back of the hand, inside the elbow or the foot or can be started by breathing a gas through a gas mask over the mouth and nose.

Drs Kestenberg, Siebel and Jovanovic are all very experienced in delivering dental treatment under sedation with our specialist anaesthetist. Your treatment is fully monitored including blood pressure, pulse and oxygen saturation readings before, during and after the treatment, and will make sure you are comfortable and ready before putting you under sedation. It is a very safe procedure but there can be short term symptoms afterwards such as drowsiness, nausea and headaches. We are fully equipped to handle all of the side effects and issues so that you are comfortable when you leave our clinic in a safe manner. The sedative takes effect very quickly and the dosage can be easily altered by the anaesthetist to achieve the desired level of sedation. As the drug stays in your system for only a short period, our patients are able to get up and walk out soon after treatment, although an accompanying adult is still legally required to take you home. It is a state government requirement that 2 adults accompany a child patient. While you are under sedation, the dentist who had seen you for the consultation and treatment planning will carry out the dental treatment. To minimise the number of sedation appointments the dentist will endeavour to carry out as much of the treatment possible in one appointment. Commonly this takes about two hours but we can go up to 6 hours if required. Once the treatment is finished under sedation, the patient is left to relax for a while in our recovery area before being taken home by an adult friend or relative. Patients are advised not to work, drive or operate machinery for the rest of the day. We are proud to say that the patients we have treated under sedation have given us positive feedback on their experience. For those who have a fear of dentists, but want to overcome their dental phobia and achieve good oral health, dental sedation may be for you.

Oral Conscious Sedation

A commonly used method for a light sedation is to breathe in a sedative vapour.  This has a short term effect to help you feel more relaxed but not asleep.  This method is often called the green whistle as the delivery system of the vapour has this appearance.  You may have seen ambulance officers use this and sometimes footballers will use this when they are stretchered off the ground. Our patients love this system and often request it again on their return visits.

Alternatively a prescription only sedative drug is taken orally which will relieve stress and anxiety. You will be given a prescription for the sedative to be taken the night before treatment before you go to bed and/or another for the morning. These medications produce a sedative effect, enabling you to relax more. Your dentist will still administer local anaesthetic in order to numb the treatment area and avoid any pain during your treatment.

Benefits of Sleep Dentistry Melbourne’s Dental Sedation

For patients, sedation can mean freedom from anxiety or fear during dental treatments. If you have been putting off dental treatment due to fear, anxiety or problems with anaesthetic, please give us a call (03) 9386 1805 for more information or to book a consultation.

Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

Leave a Reply