A lot of people may be confused when they see dentists offering sleep dentistry and sedation dentistry these days. Many think that it is just two terms for the same procedure, and because of this, it can lead to a lot of misconceptions as to what each procedure holds for them. In this article, we will explain the difference between the two, as well as the benefits of each.Sleep DentistryWhile it is important that you see your dentist at least twice a year for good dental hygiene, for many people, just the thought of walking into the office to have any procedure done sends their anxiety level through the roof! This is one of the many reasons that the practice of sleep dentistry originally came about.Unlike the name might have you think, you are not completely asleep during any procedure done with sleep dentistry. The term simply refers to the IV sedative that is administered during this type of dentistry, that will help you to relax and remain in a semi-conscious state while your dentist completes the dental work you need done. It is usually administered during a tooth extraction, dental implants or even a cosmetic dental treatment, if requested.
Sedation DentistryIn this type of dentistry, which is also employed at the request of anxious patients, the dentist will use either an oral sedative or nitrous oxide so that you can be as relaxed as possible during your dental treatment. It simply eases your anxiety, leaving you in a very relaxed but conscious state, so that you can respond to your dentist throughout.If you choose to take an oral sedative during your treatment, you will be required to have someone else drive you home afterwards. This is for your safety, as we all want our patients to arrive home after we see them. You can choose to take the sedative before you leave home, or when you arrive at the dentist’s office, it all depends on your comfort taking it, and how anxious you are about visiting your dentist. If you choose nitrous oxide, it will be administered on site, through a breathing mask for your comfort. All you need to do is to take a couple deep breaths, and all your anxiety will be reduced.Your Comfort is ImportantWhich method you choose is completely dependent upon how anxious you feel about seeing your dentist and having any procedures done while you are there. Some people simply cannot handle the experience without feeling nervous, on edge, or feeling varying levels of panic. Everything is uncomfortable for you, and some people even report feeling nauseous just thinking about going in.
In order for any dental procedure to be done safely, for both you and your dentist, you must be at ease. When you are anxious your pain tolerance is reduced, because your subconscious mind is anticipating far greater pain than you are actually experiencing. This can lead to procedures being postponed by the patient, risking their overall health in the process. If you experience anxiety of any level, then it is in your best interest to take advantage of either sleep or sedation dentistry, now that you understand the difference and the benefits.