Sleep Dentistry uses medication to help patients relax during dental procedures. While sometimes referred to as “sedation dentistry”, patients are usually awake, with the exception of those under general anaesthesia.
Our experienced team at Dentistry by Design provides:
- Minimal sedation — you are awake but relaxed
- Moderate sedation (formerly called “conscious sedation”) — after the procedure, you may slur your words, and not remember much of the procedure
- Deep sedation — you are on the edge of consciousness but can still be awakened
- General anaesthesia — you are completely unconscious
What types of sedation are used?
Inhaled minimal sedation
You breathe nitrous oxide — otherwise known as “laughing gas” — combined with oxygen through a mask over your nose. The gas helps you relax. Your dentist controls the amount of sedation you receive, and following the procedure, the gas wears off. This is the only form of sedation where you may be able to drive after the procedure.
Depending on the dose given, oral sedation can be minimal or moderate. For minimal sedation, you take a pill. Typically, the pill is Halcion, and it’s usually taken about an hour before the procedure. The pill will make you drowsy, although you’ll still be awake. A larger dose may be given to produce moderate sedation. This is the type of anaesthesia most commonly associated with sedation dentistry. Some people become groggy enough from moderate oral sedation to fall asleep during the procedure.
Intravenous moderate sedation
You receive the sedative drug through a vein, so its effects are more immediate. This method allows the doctor to continually adjust the level of sedation.
Regardless of the type of sedation you receive, you’ll typically need a local anaesthetic — numbing medication on the area on which the work is being performed — to relieve pain should the procedure causes any discomfort.