You may have read about sleep dentistry before, or heard from a friend about how it can help relieve the anxiety and of a trip to the dentist. But what exactly is a sleep dentist? Is the procedure safe for you? Is it available to anyone, or reserved for a select few?
We’ve put together this guide on sleep dentistry so you can understand the facts, and see if sleep dentistry is the right choice to turn your dental visits into a relaxing and pleasant part of your week.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Put simply, sleep dentistry is the use of an anaesthetic or a mild sedative which is administered and monitored by a specialist anaesthetist to calm and relax you before a dental procedure. It is administered at the beginning of your appointment and puts you in a deeply relaxed state for the duration of your appointment. At the end, you wake up comfortably and safely in the hands of your dental team, without recollecting noises or smells from the treatment.
The procedure completely removes all fears and anxieties from dental visits and helps patients to actually enjoy the experience of going to the dentist. It makes regular appointments easy which ensures your dental health and hygiene stays at its best.
Who Can Get Sleep Dentistry?
The best part about sleep dentistry is it is available to everyone. There are no tests to complete and no requirements that need to be met. You don’t even need to consider yourself an anxious person, or someone afraid of the dentist. If you think it could offer a better dental experience, simply book in at a sleep dentist and they will develop a treatment plan for your next visit.
It’s available for small and large procedures, from root canals, fillings and cleaning to more complex surgeries. You don’t have to worry about any side effects but may feel a little drowsy for a day or two afterwards.
Sleep dentistry is perfect for adults and children of all ages. It is particularly effective with younger patients as it reduces the chances of developing early fears from a procedure which may impact their oral health later.
Appointments generally take an extra 20 to 30 minutes for the dental team to run through the sedation process. Although it extends your time in the chair, it can also save you a lot of hassle by getting several dental procedures taken care of in one single appointment.
Is Sleep Dentistry Safe?
All of the above sounds like heaven to most people, especially those who have neglected their dental health due to a phobia. However, one of the top concerns with this technology is safety, history, and if there’s anything else they need to weigh up.
To answer that question, sleep dentistry is completely safe, reliable and professional – because it uses the exact same procedures used for anaesthetic in leading hospitals around the world. Just like in a hospital, there is a professional and highly qualified anaesthetist on hand in the clinic to oversee the process. All equipment and training are exactly the same, and staff watch over you for the duration of your sedation.
Anaesthetics have been used for a long time in medical procedures and were adopted in dental practices several decades ago. It’s been implemented in leading dental practices globally as a luxury for patients lucky enough to have access to a sleep dentistry clinic.
Preparing For An Appointment
You will need to advise your dentist when you make your booking that you’d like to try a sleep procedure. Staff will be able to let you know the sleep dentistry cost, as well as how to get ready for your visit. Usually, it involves avoiding food or drink for 6 hours prior, and wear loose, comfortable clothing. After that, all you need to do is relax, knowing your dental health is in capable hands while you have a stress-free and calming new experience at the dentist.
Dr Olstein has over 30 years of professional experience in all types of dentistry and was one of the first to offer sleep dentistry in Melbourne. If you would like to look forward to an appointment without all the stress and anxiety that sometimes goes with it, give us a call today.