Sleep dentistry offers a way for patients with dental anxiety to receive an adequate level of sedation for them to feel comfortable. However, choosing the right type of sedation for your specific needs requires knowing about each available option and when one type of sedation may be preferable to another.There are several different types of…
How Sleep Dentistry Calms Nerves
Sleep dentistry is perfect for you if you get very nervous when your dentist appointment is coming up. This technique, in a nutshell, is sedation dentistry. However, you do not have to be knocked out every time because there are different levels of sedation. Regardless of how sedated you are, it can calm your nerves immensely, and here’s how.
How can sleep dentistry calm my nerves?
You can choose how awake you want to be. If you get extremely nervous at the dentist, maybe you would like to be completely under, but if you just get tense, there are medications that help relax your nerves. The four most common levels of sedation are:
- Minimal sedation where you are just relaxed but fully awake.
- Half-awake sedation where you are still awake but may slur your words
- Sleepy sedation where you are on the edge of consciousness.
- Anesthesia where you are completely under.
In sleep dentistry, you have options of all four sedation levels. Many dentists prefer to stick to minimal or moderate sedation with laughing gas, or nitrous oxide. Laughing gas is an extremely good way to help calm your nerves without feeling scared of being unconscious. Laughing gas helps you relax and calms your nerves, but you are able to drive afterward as well. Simply ask your dentist for gas on your next visit, and no need to get anxious for your appointment.
You may take an oral sedative to relax your nerves. There is also an option to take a pill before your appointment to relax, and most people end up falling asleep in the chair. A very common medication prescribed is Valium, but there are others of the same family that could be prescribed. Your dentist will have to write a note to a pharmacy to get it to you, but this is a great option if you get really nervous.
You can get put under. By put under, I mean under general anesthesia. This is a type of sleep dentistry that dentists have to be certified in. So usually, you will have to go to an oral surgeon to receive this, but you will not remember nor feel anything during the procedure. Most of the time, for larger operations in the mouth, this is a great option because you can just be asleep. Also, if going to the dentist is on your list of biggest fears, anesthesia is a great easy option to help calm your nerves.
Is this technique safe?
Your dentist will make sure you don’t have any medical history that could interfere with the medicines and make sure you are comfortable. If you are going to go under general anesthesia, someone will be monitoring you and making sure you are safe. Although being a little sleepy or unconscious can be scary, in the end, it calms your nerves a lot and can make a very scary dentist appointment a simple errand errand.
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