July 28, 2017
Many patients look to their dentist not only to have their teeth cleaned and examined but to also feel relaxed and receive the treatments they truly need. Sedation dentistry and sleep dentistry are often discussed as ways to relieve the patient of anxiety, fear, and discomfort during a dental procedure. However, many people don’t know the difference between the two or the appropriate time to implement them. The terms “sedation dentistry” and “sleep dentistry” are often used to refer to the same thing, but there is a significant difference between the two. It’s important to realize what each of these entails so that you can truly understand which is best for you when you visit Total Dental Care.
Understanding the Difference between Sleep and Sedation
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to help the patient relax and stay awake during their dental treatment. Patients who are sedated remain conscious and can communicate with Dr. Robert Miller, but in most cases, many patients feel so drowsy from their IV sedation that they drift off to sleep or become so drowsy that they don’t recall most of their appointment.
Sleep dentistry refers to the use of general anesthesia to put the patient completely to sleep before the procedure begins. So, the biggest difference is that one form of dentistry allows the patient to remain conscious while the other puts the patient completely to sleep.
When should I use sedation dentistry and when should I use sleep dentistry?
Sedation dentistry can be used safely for any dental treatment, from basic cleanings to receiving multiple dental treatments at once. We recommend using sleep dentistry when a patient is facing excessive procedures and/or if they suffer from severe dental anxiety. Depending on if a patient has a disability or special need, we can discuss is sedation or sleep dentistry can help them receive the dental work their smile needs. With either form, your vital signs are monitored the entire time.
The Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
There are several reasons why Dr. Miller may recommend sedation over sleep dentistry:
- Sedation allows the patient to overcome their dental phobia without completely losing consciousness. Maintaining the ability to communicate with the dentist during the procedure gives many patients peace of mind while undergoing their dental treatments.
- Patients who are sedated may easily fall asleep if they so choose, but they are not forced to sleep. Many patients prefer having the choice to do so.
- Sedation allows patients to breathe on their own.
- Sedation is milder than sleep dentistry, and therefore carries fewer risks. We consider it a safer way for the patient to experience a positive dental experience.
Things to Consider About Sleep Dentistry
Although sedation is highly recommended over sleep dentistry in most cases, there are some patients who would benefit from sleep dentistry. If you’re considering general anesthesia, your sleep dentist in Forest Hills wants you to be aware that there are additional risks involved:
- Patients who use sleep dentistry run the same risks as someone who undergoes any other type of surgery using general anesthesia, such as breathing or heart problems.
- The recovery time is longer for patients who have been put under general anesthesia.
Which is the best option for me?
You may be wondering which is best for you and your dental problems. Although this blog may have given you a better idea of which option makes you feel more comfortable, it’s best to meet with your dentist to discuss your options. Contact us today to schedule an appointment to speak with Dr. Miller!
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