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.
What types of sedation are used?
Twilight sedation is a safe modern technique that takes the fear out of dentistry and makes the dental treatment a very pleasant experience. It is suitable for all types of dental treatment including wisdom teeth extraction, implant surgery and for anxious or nervous patients. Usually, more dentistry can be done in one session, therefore saving the patient time.
It is suitable for most patients, however, if you are not in good health or are taking prescribed medications, it is important to be assessed for your individual suitability for this type of sedation. The sedation is administered by a qualified medical sedationist. You become very relaxed and drowsy and the dental treatment can be carried out quite comfortably. The sedative agents produce amnesia, so it seems that you have been asleep for most of the treatment; however, you have merely been sedated and are not unconscious, as you would be under a general anaesthetic.
Happy gas is a type of inhaled minimal sedation. It is a mixture of Nitrous Oxide and Oxygen and is an excellent gas for dental procedures, especially for nervous patients. It promotes relaxation and allows our patients to be more comfortable for their dental treatment. Nitrous oxide is also short acting so once it has stopped being administered its effects wear off very quickly.
Depending on the dose given, oral sedation can be minimal or moderate. It usually involves taking one or two tablets of Valium or another muscle relaxant 30-60 minutes before your appointment. This allows our patients to be much more relaxed and at ease about dental treatment. You can request oral sedation for any of your appointments, provided you do not have any medical condition that would deem you unsuitable.
Penthrox, also known as the green whistle, is similar to happy gas but is handheld and allows the patient to control how much they want to inhale.
It works well for dental appointments as it can be inhaled before the procedure and during for pain relief and relaxation.
It is safe, reliable, and is suitable for most patients.