Daniel Daniel Dentistry - If you are 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- you may have wondered whether there's a way of having your dental care done without you the need to be aware of what's going on.
You will be pleased to know that there are options for people like yourself! Your dental treatment could be carried out in a Dentist's office if you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation in an appointment that is sometimes called "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to are aware that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really drift off during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" will have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep for my dental work'. Let's see what that actually means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the process of giving sedative drugs to someone through a vein. A line is set up into the vein, by which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The sufferer rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, as well as the dental treatment is done but they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take several hours to wear off. However, people generally just need to remain under supervision in the dental office for a short period after their appointment. If they are sufficiently recovered to go out of the dental office, they do so under the supervision of an adult family member or friend, who then should stay with them in your own home until the effects of the sedation are totally gone.
This type of sedation can also be called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious all the time during the appointment (unlike an over-all anaesthetic where they may be completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they'll doze off a little, but if the dentist asks them an issue they are easily roused and definately will generally answer it.
You could be wondering how a conscious patient could ever reference intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
The answer lies in one of the unwanted side effects of the sedative drugs that are used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation get each year some level of amnesia. They will often remember arriving at the dentist office, they may remember elements of the trip home, but they seldom remember many details in any way about the dental treatment itself. In terms of they are concerned, they were 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".
Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry is not without risks, however, your dentist will always discuss these with you before you make your appointment. Merely a well-trained and registered group of professionals can deliver this type of sedation. It's for this reason that only a number of Dental Practices ever offer this particular service. Your National Dental Association can help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in the area.
Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry will not cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It can, however, provide an choice for people who otherwise might not exactly seek the dental treatment they need, and knowing that it really is available can make patients feel much more relaxed about ongoing dental care.