Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is one of the sleep disorders treated by a sleep dentist. This condition causes the patient to stop breathing periodically during the night due to physical inhibitions in the air passages. To diagnose the condition, the sleep dentist will evaluate the signs and symptoms and conduct tests and examinations. This article…
How Sleep Dentistry Is Different Than Normal Sedation
There are a few differences between sleep dentistry and normal sedation that people are unaware of. Many people refer to normal sedation methods as sleep dentistry incorrectly. Normal sedation practices include lower levels of calmative medications. Examples of normal sedation are practices like the use of Nitrous Oxide and benzodiazepines to create deep relaxation and unawareness in a conscious state.
Sleep dentistry, as it is often referred to, is actually another name for dentistry that employs unconscious sedation. In sleep dentistry, the patient is induced into a state of unconsciousness during the entirety of the procedure. The entire process of sleep dentistry is monitored by a trained anesthesiologist to ensure the safest dosage levels for your individual needs. Sleep dentistry is reserved mainly for extensive oral surgery, dental implants, and for people who have extreme forms of anxiety.
Sleep dentistry is normally rendered intravenously. There are different levels of IV sedation that include both unconscious and conscious sedation, but the deepest level is that of sleep dentistry; this can also be referred to as general anesthesia.
Sleep dentistry provides a few benefits that differ from normal sedation. The main benefit is the complete lack of memory that normally takes place. In normal sedation, there can be memory loss, but you normally would come out of the procedure with a vague recollection of conversations that might have taken place during your appointment or lights and sounds that occurred. The short-term amnesia that stems from complete sleep dentistry provides a peaceful dental procedure experience with virtually no memories that could leave lingering fears. If you have severe anxiety surrounding oral surgery, this would be the ideal solution for you and most other patients. Another benefit to sleep dentistry is the lack of muscle movement in the patient. If the surgery that is going to take place is in a hard to reach area, like the extraction of wisdom teeth, for example, this gives an extra advantage to us, as the dentist. The procedure can be done in a quick and efficient manner that may not have been attainable otherwise.
One last difference between sleep dentistry and normal sedation is pain management. With normal sedation, your numbness will be supplemented by localized anesthesia in the area being worked on. You may or may not feel the discomfort of the anesthetic needle during this process; however, in sleep dentistry there is no need for supplemental numbing. You will have a completely controlled, pain-free and relaxed procedure.
If you experience anxiety or dental phobia, whether you have a procedure done under the influence of sleep dentistry or normal sedation, you will have an overall better experience than a normal, sedative free visit. While sleep dentistry is commonly confined to more serious operations or anxiety issues, normal sedation is widely available and preferred at our location for appointments and cavity fillings. Either way, we will ensure that your dental appointments are both relaxing and comfortable. When you visit our office, we will discuss your options with you so that you can decide what level of sedation is best for you.