All your sleep dentistry questions answered

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Dentist Melbourne
Melbourne's Home of Dentistry

All your sleep dentistry questions answered“Sleep dentistry”, more correctly called “sedation dentistry”, is a way for patients to receive painless, anxiety-free dental treatment under mild sedation.

At Smile Solutions, a light anaesthetic is administered by a specialist anaesthetist. The preparation combines sedative and pain-relieving medicines, which together induce a drowsy and dream-like state.

Here, we answer all the questions you may have regarding sleep dentistry.

Is sleep dentistry like a general anaesthetic in hospital?

Just like during a general anaesthetic, at our clinic you will have a specialist anaesthetist with you the whole time and will be monitored with state-of-the-art equipment. But unlike under a general anaesthetic you will be in a state somewhere between conscious and unconscious and are able to respond to commands if need. There will be no tubes in your throat, as there are during a general anaesthetic.

When is sedation dentistry used?

Sedation is appropriate for any dental procedure, where short or long – from simple fillings to crowns, implants, extractions and more.

Which patients benefit most from sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is ideal for people who:

  • Are fearful or anxious about any aspect of their dental care
  • Dislike the feeling of instruments and needles in the mouth
  • Have a low tolerance for pain, or have sensitive teeth and gums
  • Have previously had unpleasant dental experiences
  • Have a strong gag reflex
  • Are anxious about the sounds, smells and tastes of dental treatment
  • Have difficulty keeping their mouth open
  • Have complex dental requirements or need long sessions
  • Are time-poor and wish to have more treatment done in fewer sessions.

What are the main advantages of sedation dentistry?

Comfort

Sedation dentistry eliminates feelings of anxiety, pain, fear and discomfort associated with dental procedures, as well as awareness of sounds, sights, smells and taste. Patients find their treatment very comfortable, regardless of length and complexity.

Safety

We work only with specialist anaesthetists, so you can rest assured that your safety is paramount. At our clinic you are being monitored continuously with specialised hospital-grade equipment.

Time effectiveness 

Sedation dentistry allows patients to have multiple procedures and long treatments in a single visit, which is ideal for busy people who can’t attend multiple appointments.

Are there any major side effects?

Serious side effects are very rare, as we offer sedation dentistry only to patients who are medically well. Some people experience mild drowsiness for up to 24 hours, but this is not typical.

How do I prepare for the sedation process?

In conjunction with your dentist, the anaesthetist will assess your suitability for sedation dentistry before the procedure; this is done via a detailed medical questionnaire and sometimes a phone consultation before you arrive. At the beginning of your appointment the anaesthetist will explain the procedure to you in detail. During your consultation they will answer any questions you may have.

You should not eat or drink anything for at least six hours before your appointment. You can take your usual prescription medications at the times when you would normally have them, even within the fasting period. You can take a small sip of water to swallow any prescription pills. Please check with your anaesthetist about diabetic medications. You should wear loose, comfortable clothes.

What do I need to be aware of after my sedation?

After the procedure, you will have a brief recovery period at our clinic, following which you should go straight home to rest and fully recover. As with any sedation or anaesthetic, you will need to avoid driving, walking or taking public transport and you should be accompanied by an adult until you are safely home and for 24 hours afterwards. In most cases, you can resume your normal life the next day after the sedation.

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