How is Sleep Dentistry Different from a Regular Dentist?

1 May, 2018 Sleep Dentistry,

It’s not unusual for dentist to use some approach to minimizing pain for patients undergoing different types of procedures. In some cases, the best solution is to employ sleep dentistry. How does that differ from the numbing effects regular dentists use, and why would one approach be preferable to the other? Here are some things you should know about sleep dentistry and when this approach is likely to be utilized.

General Sedation Compared to Sleep Dentistry

Sedation is typically used when there is the need to prevent the patient from experiencing pain, but the patient still needs to be conscious. Along with numbing the gum, the use of some form of sedation keeps the patient feeling relatively comfortable. While not really aware of the discomfort, the patient is still capable of responding to any instructions the dental team provides during the procedure.

With sleep dentistry in Barrie, the patient is not conscious during the procedure. This makes it possible for the dental team to move faster while also monitoring the patient’s vital signs. With this approach, the patient has no memory of the actual procedure. Many find that as the process of being put to sleep begins, they notice that they are beginning to nod off. The next thing they know, the procedure is complete and they are being monitored while they slowly awaken.

A patient who undergoes some form of sleep dentistry is not allowed to leave the clinic without a designated driver. That individual usually takes on the task of watching over the patient for the next several hours. Gradually, the patient will be fully conscious again. Most patients experience no after effects of sleep dentistry, although they may feel groggy until the following day.

When is Sleep Dentistry Used?

This approach may be used with patients who are dealing with anxiety disorders and find it impossible to remain in a dental chair for long periods of time. Procedures that require the removal of tissue or sutures to close wounds are also likely to be given something for sleep. Any type of procedure that would involve severe pain and can be done without the patient being awake could be grounds for using this approach.

Is Sleep Dentistry For Everyone?

Not every dental procedure requires the use of sleep dentistry. The dental professional will determine if this approach is appropriate for the patient. In some cases, sedation will be sufficient. At other times, sleep will be the most practical way to proceed and ensure the patient does not experience discomfort while the work is in progress. Patients who wonder if sleep dentistry is right for them should discuss the possibility with the dental professional at the time the procedure is scheduled.

Remember that the goal of any dental procedure is to correct an issue that is causing distress or threatens to undermine the health of the patient. Choosing the right method for sedation, up to and including sleep, ensures the patient can undergo the procedure with a minimum of pain during the event. In the best-case scenario, the patient remembers nothing, awakens without any complications, and goes on to heal in a reasonable amount of time.