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What is sleep and sedation dentistry?

Is pain and fear keeping you away from the dentist? Does the sound of dental drills make you nervous?

The hardest part about having dental work is that you are aware of everything that is happening; you can hear and see everything, which is really distressing for some patients, occasionally causing considerable anxiety.

At Marriott and Hand, we understand that dental work can be uncomfortable and sometimes make you feel worried, but you must remember that we are only trying to help you maintain a healthy smile for life, and this is why our team offers sleep and sedation dentistry, which eases your stressful thoughts and worries while you undergo treatment.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of a mild sedative, usually in the form of an inhalant, which reduces fear and pain during treatment. The sedative leaves patients feeling comfortable and relaxed, while also being responsive to the dentist’s cues.

What is sleep dentistry?

Sleep dentistry is the use of strong sedative medications administered by a specialist anaesthetist, where patients will be under twilight sedation. This sedation is for patients who are extremely anxious or are fearful of undergoing extensive and invasive dental treatments.

What are the benefits of sedation and sleep dentistry?

Sleep and sedation dentistry have many benefits for patients and in some cases, the dentist. This includes:

Feeling comfortable: The main aim of patient sedation is to make the patient feel comfortable and relaxed. Sedation covers up the stressful sights, sounds and smells of the dentist. This can also allow the dentist to work more efficiently.

Avoid fear of needles: The fear of needles is very common and by using sedatives, patients will not even take notice of needles or injections.

Muffle the sound of dental drills: Patients can expect to feel relaxed, even during the sound of dental drills.

Reduce memory of the procedure: Sedation reduces how much patients remember about their dental experience.

Prevents triggering sensitive gag reflexes: Some patients have sensitive gag reflexes, which can cause many problems for both you and the dentist; sedation dentistry can help with this issue.

Time efficiency: Rather than needing multiple visits for different procedures, patients can often have all their dental treatment in one appointment using sedation.

Sleep and sedation dentistry options

There are levels of sedation available, depending on each individual patient’s level of fear and the required treatment. Options include:

  • Inhalant gases: Helps patients to relax, plus relieves pain.
  • Twilight Sedation: “Half-way”
  • General anaethetic: Offers complete sedation so that the patient will not feel anything during the treatment.

Marriott and Hand offering these three sedation options, a mild sedative, twilight sedation or a general anaesthetic means that all patients, no matter the level of anxiety, can undergo dental treatment feeling relaxed and unworried.

How to prepare for sedation dentistry

If you are undergoing sedation during your dental treatment, you should arrange for someone to drive you home afterwards and stay with you for a few hours.

You must NOT drive. Sedatives can leave you feeling dizzy, confused, occasionally nauseous, but especially euphoric, which is exactly why driving is just so dangerous post anaesthetic.

Sedation and sleep dentistry may not be suitable for all patients, which is why during your initial consultation we will determine if it’s right for you.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding sedation dentistry, our team at Marriott and Hand Dental will happily help. For any questions or to book an appointment, please contact us here.