Daniel Daniel blog - If you're someone who doesn't like dental appointments- i mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to the point of being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- maybe you have wondered whether there exists a way of having your dental care done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.
You'll be pleased to know that there are options for people such as yourself! Your dental care could be carried out in a Dentist's office while you're sedated using Intravenous Sedation in the appointment that is sometimes referred to as "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to know that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really go to sleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most of the people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" will have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep in my dental work'. Let's see what that really means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the task of giving sedative drugs to someone through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, by which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The person rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, along with the dental treatment is done while they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take much time to wear off. However, people generally just need to remain under supervision inside the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they're sufficiently recovered to go away the dental office, they do so under the supervision associated with an adult family member or friend, who then needs to stay with them in your own home until the effects of the sedation are totally gone.
This type of sedation is also called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious all the time during the appointment (unlike an over-all anaesthetic where these are completely unconscious). Patients will often be so relaxed that they'll doze off a little, but if the dentist asks them a question they are easily roused and definately will generally answer it.
You may be wondering how a conscious patient could ever make reference to intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
A better solution lies in one of the negative effects of the sedative drugs which can be used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation every year some level of amnesia. They will often remember arriving at the dentist office, they may remember elements of the trip home, nonetheless they seldom remember many details whatsoever about the dental treatment itself. So far as they are concerned, these were 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".
Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry isn't without risks, your dentist will always discuss all of them you before you make your appointment. Just a well-trained and registered group of professionals can deliver this kind of sedation. It can be for this reason that only a few Dental Practices ever offer the service. Your National Dental Association will be able to help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in your town.
Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry will not cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It will, however, provide an choice for people who otherwise might not seek the dental treatment they might need, and knowing that it's available can make patients feel far more relaxed about ongoing dental hygiene.