Does the thought of going to the dentist fill you with dread? If so, you’re not alone. Many people are afraid of the dentist, though their reasons may vary. Some people have sensitive oral nerves, making procedures more painful. Others have had bad experiences in the past, making them fearful that their next trip to the dentist will result in the same experience.
For anyone who is afraid of the dentist or avoids getting critical treatments due to anxiety, sleep dentistry may help you be more comfortable and relaxed. If you aren’t familiar with sleep dentistry, here’s what you need to know about this treatment option.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry – also known as sedation dentistry – is a process where your Frisco dentist administers a sedative before doing any other dental procedures. Normally, the medications simply relax the patient instead of causing them to be made fully unconscious. However, even under lighter levels of sedation, many patients are so relaxed that they are able to fall asleep.
There are different degrees of sleep dentistry. If only nitrous oxide (a gas you inhale) is used, you are relaxed during the appointment, but the effect wears off quickly. In many cases, you can even drive yourself home after the appointment.
Oral sedatives are stronger. You’ll be significantly more relaxed but remain fully awake when you receive this option, known as enteral conscious sedation. However, it can lead to sleepiness for several hours until it wears off, so you shouldn’t plan on being able to drive yourself home.
Intravenous (IV) sedatives are the strongest option and usually force you to sleep. Also known as general anesthesia, this approach makes you significantly less aware of your surroundings, and you may not remember your procedure at all. Driving yourself home after an IV sedative is used is typically not an option.
At Smiles at Warren Parkway in Frisco, we offer nitrous oxide and enteral conscious sedation options to our patients who are interested in sleep dentistry treatments.
Is Sleep Dentistry Right for Me?
There are many reasons why a patient may be interested in sleep dentistry. If you have a phobia related to the dentist, have had a poor experience in the past, are particularly pain sensitive, are resistant to local anesthetic, have a small mouth that could result in additional discomfort during a long procedure, or have general anxiety disorder, sedation dentistry might be right for you.
If you would like to learn more about how sleep dentistry can help you remain comfortable during dental procedures, speak with your Frisco dentist today. They can go over the available options and help you decide if sedation dentistry can make seeing the dentist a more pleasant experience.