Millions of Americans suffer from a fear of going to the dentist, making it challenging for these individuals to receive the dental care that they desperately need to stay healthy. You may not realize it, but your dental health is tightly tied to your physical health—an overabundance of plaque on your teeth could indicate that you’re suffering from plaque in your veins, too.
Whether you’re afraid that your visit will be painful or are concerned that your child is suffering from dental anxiety, you can rest assured that sleep dentistry is a safe alternative that will help you and your family relax and receive the dental care that you need.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
The name “sleep dentistry” is actually a misnomer—you won’t technically go to sleep whenever you receive dental procedures under sedation. Instead, you will feel relaxed, calm and slightly sleepy throughout your dental procedure. Over the past few decades, sedation dentistry has allowed individuals to overcome their anxiety around undergoing dental treatment and receive the care that they need while still having a great dental experience.
There are a variety of types of sedation and anesthesia that can be used on your family.
Types of Sedation and Anesthesia
There are several levels of sedation that can be used to alleviate anxiety and ease the dental experience, including:
- “Laughing gas” or nitrous oxide, that generally just makes you a little bit lightheaded or giggly during your procedures
- If you or your child are one of the few people that don’t tolerate nitrous oxide well, your dentist may opt for mild sedation. This could be a variety of different medications that work together to help you relieve feelings of anxiousness or fear. During mild sedation, you’ll be able to perform commands from your dentist although you may not remember much after the procedure.
- A more moderate level of sedation often includes getting quite sleepy from the medications, but still retaining the ability to breathe on your own and wake easily. It is unlikely that you’ll remember much of your procedure, but dentists can still safely perform their procedure without external help.
- With IV sedation, your dentist generally works with an anesthesiologist who will monitor your heart rate, blood pressure and level of sedation throughout your procedure. While you might move and make a few noises, your memory of the procedure will be extremely limited.
In rare cases, general anesthesia is required to help perform dental surgery or extensive dental modifications. Just as with IV sedation, you will have an additional professional there monitoring all activities and administering the anesthesia.
Benefits of Dental Sedation
If fear of dentists or what will happen when you go to the dentist’s office is stopping you or your child from getting the oral care that you need, sleep dentistry may be the answer. They are a relatively easy way for people to get over their phobias around dental work while allowing dentists to complete complex procedures quickly and painlessly.
Ready to learn more about sleep dentistry? Contact the friendly and professional staff at ShallowfordFamily Dental Group today at 423-892-4477 or learn more about their services online. ShallowfordFamilyDentalGroup offers a range of services from cosmetic to pediatric dentistry and specializes in creating a welcoming and positive atmosphere for your next visit.