Sleep Dentistry – What is it and who should get it?

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Dental health is one of the facets of personal health that you should safeguard at all costs. Advancements in technology has led to development of new dental processes and equipment that allows dentists to offer the best health care services to their clients. Sleep dentistry is one of the methods that we are using in our Melbourne clinic to perform various dental procedures. Since its inception, it has gained massive popularity throughout Melbourne and the number of clients who prefer it to other traditional methods is rising every day.

Sleep Denistry workWhat is Sleep Dentistry?

This is one of the most common questions asked by patients looking for oral dental treatment without having to persevere through all the pain associated with traditional dental procedures. First, it’s important to point out that sleep dentistry is also referred to as sedation dentistry. There are three levels of sedation namely:

Minimal Sedation: You will be awake throughout the process but you relaxed.

Moderate Sedation: This was previously known as conscious sedation. It is characterized by loss of memory and slur conversation.

Deep Sedation: This is different from the two as one is usually at the edge of consciousness but still awake.

General Anaesthesia: You will be completely unconscious throughout the procedure. You will not remember anything that happens while undergoing the dental procedure.

Let us proceed and look at the different types of sedation used by dental facilities.

Oral Sedation

The resulting effect is largely dependent on the total dosage that you get. For minor dental procedures, one or two pills of drugs such as Halcion are required. The pill will make you feel drowsy, but you will still be awake. Complex dental procedures require a large dosage and involve application of an anaesthesia.

IV Moderate Sedation

The sedative drug knocks you into a deep sleep through application of the sedative drug through a vein. It works in minutes and gives the dentists enough time to work. In addition, the level of sedation can be adjusted if need be at any time without compromising the success of the whole procedure.

Deep Sedation

As the name suggests, this is more powerful, the medications that will be administered will make you totally or almost unconscious. The dentists have to give your body ample time to wear off to awake you. Alternatively, special medications can be applied to reverse the effects.

Inhaled Nitrous Oxide Sedation

Nitrous oxide sedation involves inhalation of nitrous oxide commonly known as laughing gas. It is combined with oxygen through a special mask that is placed over your nose. It will help you relax and the dentists can easily control the level of sedation by reducing or increasing the amount of gas that you inhale. The effects wear off relatively fast. In fact, most patients are able to drive themselves home after the procedure.

nitrous sedation dental work

Who is Sleep Dentistry for?

Sleep dentistry is ideal for people who fear or have anxiety about dental procedures. It is best for patients who have a low pain thresholds, have very sensitive teeth, bad gag reflex, or are required to undergo a complex dental procedure.

Is Sleep Dentistry Safe?

One of the risks associated with this procedure is the application of anaesthesia. Though most of the anaesthesia is safe, they have to be administered by an experienced dentist or health care professional. It is of paramount importance for patients who are obese or have obstructive sleep apnoea to consult professional health care personnel prior to being sedated. This is because the anaesthesia may result in other complications.

More importantly, carry out a thorough background check to know if the dentist is qualified and legally accredited to offer this form of service to avert any regrets down the road. If you have any further questions about sleep dentistry or you’re in Melbourne and would like to book please give us a call.

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Dr. Dorairajan Kulandaivel (dentist)

About the Author:

Melbourne Dentist Dr. Dorai Kulandaivel has been practicing as a general dental practitioner since 2004. He has a gentle, caring approach to dental treatment and a wealth of experience. Due to this he is able to offer application of all dental procedures in the one place, at your local dentist clinic - Chandler Road Family Dental.

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