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18 Dec 2015

If you're someone who doesn't like dental appointments- and i also 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 exists a way of having your dental care done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.

You may be pleased to know that you'll find options for people like yourself! Your dental care could be carried out in a Dentist's office if you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation in the appointment that is sometimes known as "Sleep Dentistry".
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It's important for you to know that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really get to sleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, many people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" will have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep in my dental work'. Let's see what that really means...

"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the method of giving sedative drugs to a person through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, in which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The individual rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, and also the dental treatment is done while they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take a long time to wear off. However, people generally only need to remain under supervision within the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they are sufficiently recovered to go out of the dental office, they do so under the supervision associated with 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 can be called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious constantly during the appointment (unlike a broad anaesthetic where they may be completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they'll doze off a little, in case your dentist asks them an issue they are easily roused and may generally answer it.
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You may be wondering how a conscious patient could ever refer to intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?

A better solution lies in one of the unwanted effects of the sedative drugs which are used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation get each year some level of amnesia. They may remember arriving at the dentist, they may remember parts of the trip home, but they seldom remember many details in any respect about the dental treatment itself. In terms of they are concerned, these folks were 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".

Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry is not without risks, but your dentist will always discuss all of them you before you make your appointment. Just a well-trained and registered team of professionals can deliver this manner of sedation. It can be for this reason that only a number of Dental Practices ever offer this service. Your National Dental Association will be able to help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in your town.

Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry will not cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It can, however, provide an alternative for people who otherwise may not seek the dental treatment they need, and knowing that it really is available can make patients feel additional relaxed about ongoing dentistry.


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