What is Sleep Dentistry? What You Must Know About It?

Charlotte Miller

Updated on:

Sleep dentistry is a type of anaesthesia that allows patients to receive dental care while asleep. The patient typically falls asleep under the influence of an oral sedative held in place by a mouthguard. The dentist in Blackburn may also dilute the sedative with oxygen. 

Who needs sleep dentistry? 

Sleep dentistry is generally used when a patient is severely traumatized by dental treatments and has not had success with other types of anaesthesia. Sleep dentistry also allows people who endure gag reflex during procedures to receive needed care and improve their oral health. It is frequently recommended for patients with special needs. 

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What are the benefits of sleep dentistry? 

The “best” benefit of sleep dentistry is not having to worry about being conscious or not during a dental procedure. Patients who undergo treatment under sedation may experience more intense pain relief and increased comfort, as well as fewer negative memories from dental procedures.  

Some patients report being able to feel the needle and tools, but they do not remember the procedure itself. 

What are some risks and side effects? 

The main risk of sleep dentistry is that the sedative used may be too strong and cause respiratory problems. If this occurs, a machine can assist with breathing until oxygen saturation returns to normal levels. Patients receiving sleep dentistry may also experience nausea, vomiting or gasping, which could be unpleasant for the patient and staff in the room. 

What should patients look for when choosing a dentist? 

Patients should find a highly trained dentist and experienced in administering sedation and other types of anaesthesia; it is essential not to skip over this step. Patients should also consider how conveniently the dentist’s office is located and what days and hours of operation are offered. 

What types of exams and procedures can be done under sedation? 

Many dental treatments can be completed under sedation, including oral surgery, diagnostic testing such as X-rays or CT scans, and scaling and root planning. 

Patients under sedation should not drive themselves home after their appointment because they may feel tired (and obviously will not be awake to decide). Patients are advised to have someone to drive them home or bring a driver if they do not live close by. 

Is sleep dentistry expensive? 

The cost of sleep dentistry varies from office to office, but it is generally more expensive than other types of anaesthesia because the dentist must be specially trained. The average price is around $1500 – $2000 for a single procedure. 

Who can perform sleep dentistry? 

Many dental professionals in Australia specialize in administering sedation. Patients should consider having their procedures performed by experienced nurses and doctors. 

Patients should also be aware that not everyone is qualified to do sleep dentistry; it is vital to work with anaesthesiologists, oral maxillofacial surgeons and experienced dentists who are properly trained to provide this type of care. 

Is it safe? 

Yes, sleep dentistry is generally very safe when the dentist has extensive experience with administering sedation. Everyone involved (dentist, staff, anaesthesiologist) must be well-trained in procedures and protocols if there are any problems. 

What is the recovery like? 

Patients undergoing sleep dentistry will need to rest until they feel fully recovered and may even experience a headache that lasts into the next day or two. Therefore, care should be taken when driving home from the dentist’s office. 

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