If you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- and that i mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to begin being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you may have wondered whether there is a way of having your dental care done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.
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You will be pleased to know that you will find options for people such as yourself! Your dental care could be carried out in a Dentist's office while you are sedated using Intravenous Sedation in a appointment that is sometimes referred to as "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to realize that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really go to sleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most of the people who receive "Sleep Dentistry" do have an experience that they will interpret as 'I was asleep for my dental work'. Let's see what that actually means...
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"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, through which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The person 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 many hours to wear off. However, people generally only have to remain under supervision within the dental office for a short period after their appointment. If they are sufficiently recovered to go out of the dental office, they certainly so under the supervision of your adult family member or friend, who then must stay with them in the home until the effects of the sedation are completely gone.
This type of sedation is additionally called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious at all times during the appointment (unlike an overall anaesthetic where these are completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they will doze off a little, if the dentist asks them a matter they are easily roused and can generally answer it.
You may be wondering how a conscious patient could ever talk about intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
The result lies in one of the negative effects of the sedative drugs which are used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation are experiencing some level of amnesia. They could remember arriving at the dental office, they may remember elements of the trip home, nonetheless they seldom remember many details in any respect 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 is not without risks, however, your dentist will always discuss these with you before you make your appointment. Simply a well-trained and registered team of professionals can deliver this kind of sedation. It can be for this reason that only several Dental Practices ever offer the service. Your National Dental Association are able to help you find an appropriately qualified and registered practice in the area.
Of course, intravenous sedation for dentistry will never cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It lets you do, 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 a lot more relaxed about ongoing dental care.