Feel calm and comfortable with sleep dentistry as Smile Solutions.
Sleep dentistry (or sedation dentistry) is a comfortable way for patients to receive dental treatment while under mild sedation.
A sedative combined with a pain-relieving medicine is administered intravenously. This induces a drowsy and dream-like state and you generally have no memory of your dental procedure afterwards.
At Smile Solutions, sleep dentistry is administered and supervised by a Registered Specialist Anaesthetist, not by a general dentist.
Sleep dentistry is ideal for people who:
- are particularly fearful or apprehensive about any aspect of dental care
- are highly anxious about the sounds, smells or tastes of dental treatment
- cannot tolerate the feeling of instruments and needles in their mouth
- have a low tolerance for pain
- have sensitive teeth and gums
- have been traumatised by previous dental experiences
- have difficulty keeping their mouth open for extended periods
- have complex dental requirements or need particularly long treatment sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sleep dentistry safe?
We offer sleep dentistry only to patients who are medically well and have undergone a medical assessment with us. At Smile Solutions, a qualified anaesthetist who is a registered specialist with a medical degree plus a post-graduate qualification in anaesthetics administers the preparation and constantly monitors you using hospital-grade equipment.
Is sleep dentistry like a general anaesthetic in a hospital?
Unlike a general anaesthetic in hospital, there are no tubes in your throat and unlike being under general anaesthetic you are in a state somewhere between consciousness and unconsciousness and are able to respond to commands if needed.
Are there any dental procedures not suited to sedation?
Sedation is appropriate for all dental procedures whether short of long, including simple fillings to crowns, implants and extractions.
What are the costs of sleep dentistry and is there a Medicare rebate?
The cost of sleep dentistry is additional to the fee for dental treatment. You can expect to pay around $600 per hour of sedation. There’s a minimum of one hour and the charges are applied in 15 minute increments after the first hour. Ask your dentist for an estimate of the duration of your treatment to work out an approximate cost.
As a specialist anaesthetist treats you, you are eligible for a Medicare rebate of about a quarter of the cost.
Are there any major side effects?
As with general anaesthetics, the safeguards we put in place means serious side effects are very rare. Some people experience mild drowsiness for up to 24 hours but this is not typical. We recommend you don’t drive or travel on public transport immediately afterwards and you are accompanied home – just as a precaution.
How do I prepare for the sedation process?
In conjunction with your dentist, the anaesthetist will assess your suitability for sleep dentistry before the procedure in a detailed medical questionnaire and sometimes they will organise a phone consultation before you arrive.
At the beginning of your appointment, the anaesthetist will explain the procedure to you and during your consultation they will answer any questions you may have.
You should not eat or drink anything for at least 6 hours before your appointment. You can take your usual prescription medication at the times you normally would up to 2 hours before sedation with a sip of water to swallow any prescription pills even within the fasting period. Please check with your anaesthetist about diabetic medications.
You should wear loose, comfortable clothing and avoid one-piece outfits.