At least 85 percent of the Australian population feels some fear or anxiety about going to the dentist. After all, it can be scary for some people to have a dentist poking and prodding around their mouth. While some fear is rational, it can verge on a phobia for others. The very thought of a dentist clinic can make some people become a ball of nerves.
If your phobia is stopping you from taking care of your oral health, then sleep dentistry might be something you could consider. Talk to your dentist about your options, and read on to find out more.
Sleep Dentistry Option 1: Gas – Nitrous Oxide
One of the most common forms of sleep or sedation dentistry is nitrous oxide gas. The gas doesn’t put you to sleep, but it makes you feel more relaxed. This option is particularly helpful for anyone who feels a little bit anxious or fearful of the dentist, but not to the extent of it becoming a significant problem. The gas also wears off quickly after the procedure.
Sleep Dentistry Option 2: Oral Sedatives
Oral sedatives can be an excellent option for anyone fearful or anxious about the dentist but know it’s crucial for their oral health. You can take the sedative an hour before you go, then remain relaxed throughout your procedure. You’re awake, but your nerves are at ease, and you may also feel sleepy.
Sleep Dentistry Option 3: Intravenous (IV) Sedatives
Sometimes, fear of the dentist can be that extreme that you can’t bear to be awake during the procedure at all. If that’s the case with you, then intravenous sedatives may be the best option. Depending on the drug and dosage, the IV drugs can put you into various stages of consciousness.
Your dentist can perform general anaesthesia to put you into a deep sleep. You can then wake up, and all your dental work is complete. Otherwise, your dentist might recommend another type of IV drug which makes you less aware of your surroundings and, as a result, calmer and more relaxed. You may even not remember much about your procedure afterward either.
Why Choose Sleep Dentistry?
Your dentist might recommend sleep dentistry, or you might broach the subject, for many reasons. You may have a phobia for dental care or your dentist, or a past bad experience might have you fearful or anxious. An anxiety disorder may also make it a far safer option for you as well.
Nerves aren’t the only reason either. If you have a small mouth, dental care may be too uncomfortable to bear. You may also have sensitive nerves that make you uncomfortable.
If you think sleep dentistry might be right for you, then consult your dentist. They can recommend the best option for your needs.