Daniel Daniel - In case you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- i mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to the point of being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you may have wondered whether there's a way of having your dental care done without you being forced to be aware of what's going on.
You'll be pleased to know that you'll find options for people for example yourself! Your dental care could be carried out in a Dentist's office if you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation in an appointment that is sometimes termed as "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to realize that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really get to sleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" will have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep for my dental work'. Let's see what that truly means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the procedure of giving sedative drugs to anyone through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, in which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The sufferer rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, and the dental treatment is done while they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take several hours to wear off. However, people generally just need to remain under supervision from the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they are sufficiently recovered to leave the dental office, they certainly so under the supervision of an adult family member or friend, who then should stay with them in your house until the effects of the sedation are totally gone.
This type of sedation is additionally called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious all the time during the appointment (unlike a general anaesthetic where they're completely unconscious). Patients will often be so relaxed that they will doze off a little, but if the dentist asks them something they are easily roused and may generally answer it.
You could be wondering how a conscious patient could ever reference intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
The solution lies in one of the negative effects of the sedative drugs which are used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation will experience some level of amnesia. They might remember arriving at the dentist office, they may remember areas of the trip home, nevertheless they seldom remember many details at all about the dental treatment itself. As much as they are concerned, they were 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".
Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry just isn't without risks, but your dentist will always discuss all of them you before you make your appointment. Merely a well-trained and registered team of professionals can deliver this type of sedation. It is for this reason that only a few Dental Practices ever offer this service. Your National Dental Association are able to help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in your town.
Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry won't ever cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It will, however, provide an alternative for people who otherwise may not seek the dental treatment they might require, and knowing that it's available can make patients feel far more relaxed about ongoing dental treatments.