Sleep Dentistry

Sleep Dentistry is also referred to as Sedation Dentistry, and it is often used on patients that experience different levels of dental anxiety.  Dental anxiety is basically a fear of the dentist, and many individuals experience this fear even at the thought of a simple dental cleaning. The anxiety stems from the fear of pain as well as a fear of being out of control during the dental procedure. The good news is that there are various levels of sleep dentistry that can be used even during simple procedures. Common situations that may require sleep dentistry may be an unusually long procedure, patients with special needs that tend to become anxious and move around (which makes it hard for the dentist to complete the procedure) or general dental phobia. Types of sleep dentistry solutions include general anesthesia, where the patient is asleep during the procedure, twilight sleep, where the patient is aware of their surroundings but completely relaxed and comfortable, and nitrous oxide, sometimes referred to as laughing gas. Oral sedation dentistry is in the form of a pill or tablet that the patient is advised to take up to an hour before the procedure, and this is commonly used for patients with dental phobias. These are all options for patients that experience various levels of dental anxiety.

Am I A Good Candidate For Sleep Dentistry?

Sleep Dentistry offers an excellent treatment alternative to people who are:

  • Anxious or Phobic about Dental Treatment;
  • In need of extensive dental work, requiring one or
  • several long procedures; or
  • Handicapped or have other Special Needs.

One out of seven people suffer from some form dental anxiety.
These people may avoid going to the dentist, and often suffer severe consequences. If you are one of these people, you can choose Sleep Dentistry through either general anesthesia, twilight sleep or the use of nitrous oxide gas to relax you as we treat you. We will use a thorough assessment of your fears and concerns, and will help you determine the alternative.

In order to determine if you are a good candidate for sleep dentistry, you will want to consider a few things. Do you become increasingly agitated before your dentist appointments, sometimes enough to cancel the appointment altogether? Are you someone that is particularly fidgety once you are in the dentists’ chair? Are you scheduled for a lengthy procedure that does not require general anesthesia? If you have answered yes to any of these questions, sleep dentistry may be a good idea. Dr. Kanani will discuss your options with you regarding sedation. If you are scheduled for a long surgical procedure that requires you to be in the chair for more than two to three hours, the doctor may recommend general anesthesia. If you are scheduled for a procedure like a root canal or an extraction and are quite anxious about it, Dr. Kanani may suggest the twilight sleep or nitrous oxide in order for you to be relaxed, yet still aware of your surroundings.

Sleep Dentistry Procudure

The sleep dentistry procedure will vary depending on the level of anesthesia you will be receiving.  If you are scheduled for general anesthesia, you will be given the anesthesia intravenously.  The anesthesiologist will insert a needle into one of your veins, (usually on the hand) and this part of the procedure causes little to no pain.  They will then tell you to count backwards from ten.  In most cases, patients are comfortably sleeping by the time they count down to 8 or 7.  You will be carefully monitored during the entire procedure, and when you wake up, you will be in the recovery area.  General anesthesia is commonly used during wisdom teeth extractions and other types of oral surgery, and is not given to patients that have anxiety before a simple procedure.  Twilight sleep is a form of anesthesia that is administered through an IV as well.  Once the needle is inserted, you will not fall asleep, you will simply be in a very relaxed state.  You will be able to follow instructions and general commands given by the dentist, and you will feel no pain.  The anesthesiologist will monitor you carefully, and you will remain functional.  Nitrous Oxide is administered through a mask.  You will breathe in the gas and you will be in a comfortable and relaxed state, yet you will remain aware of your surroundings.  You may be given topical anesthesia as well to ensure that you feel no pain during the procedure.   Oral sedation is administered in pill form.  You will be given a pill to take up to an hour before the procedure.  You will remain relaxed and comfortable during the process, but you will still remain coherent enough to follow the instructions of the dentist.  Oral sedation is the most common type of sedation dentistry for individuals with dental anxiety, as the pill can be taken before minimal procedures, including dental cleanings.

Dr Kanani and his professional staff at Around The Corner Dental Health Spa are available to assist you with your dental anxiety by providing a variety of sedation options.  When you meet with Dr. Kanani, don’t be afraid or embarrassed to tell him about your dental fear.  He cares about his patients and completely understands that some patients have increased anxiety when it comes to dental work.  He will advise on the best level of sedation based on your treatment, and  you can rely on his patient and caring staff to be with you every step of the way.  Contact us for a consultation on sleep dentistry today!

(818) 962-1141
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