Daniel Daniel - If you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- i mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to begin being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you could have wondered whether there is a way of having your dental treatment done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.
You will be pleased to know that there are 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 within an appointment that is sometimes termed as "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to are aware that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really drift off during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, a lot of 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 really means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the process of giving sedative drugs to someone through a vein. A lines are set up into the vein, through which a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The individual rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, and the dental treatment is done but they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take many hours to wear off. However, people generally only need to remain under supervision from the dental office for a short period after their appointment. If they're sufficiently recovered to leave the dental office, they certainly so under the supervision of an adult family member or friend, who then has to stay with them in the home until the effects of the sedation are completely gone.
This type of sedation can also be called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious always during the appointment (unlike a general anaesthetic where they're completely unconscious). Patients will be so relaxed that they may doze off a little, in case your dentist asks them something they are easily roused and may generally answer it.
You may well be wondering how a conscious patient could ever reference intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
The result lies in one of the unwanted effects of the sedative drugs which might be used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation will experience some level of amnesia. They will often remember arriving at the dentist, they may remember aspects of the trip home, however they seldom remember many details at all about the dental treatment itself. In terms of 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 all of them you before you make your appointment. Simply a well-trained and registered group of professionals can deliver this form of sedation. It can be for this reason that only a few Dental Practices ever offer this particular service. Your National Dental Association can 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 can, however, provide an selection for people who otherwise may well not seek the dental treatment they need, and knowing that it can be available can make patients feel much more relaxed about ongoing dental care.