If the thought of tooth extraction sets your teeth chattering, there are ways to manage this anxiety. Perhaps the greatest defence against your fear is the request that your dentist put you to sleep—which is also known as sleep dentistry. In this blog post, we’ll explore the ins and outs of sedation and anaesthesia and how they can help nervous dental patients.
But first, let’s address the most fundamental question of all.
What Is Sleep Dentistry?
As the name may suggest, sleep dentistry is dental work done on a person who is either sedated or under general anaesthesia. While only general anaesthesia will send you straight to sleep, sedation can put you so much at ease that sleep can be a natural consequence. If you opt for sedation, you will—at least, at first—have an awareness of your surroundings but feel a whole lot more relaxed and comfortable. If you opt for your dentist to put you to sleep, you will neither have any recollection of your procedure nor any perception of time having passed.
So, do dentists always put you to sleep when pulling teeth? No, and whether they do will depend on individual preferences and case severity. Some people opt for these treatments for all dental procedures while others reserve them for major dental work, such as wisdom tooth extraction. In any case, general anaesthesia is usually used for major dental procedures only or in cases of extreme dental anxiety.
Why Is Sleep Dentistry a Good Idea for Tooth Extraction Procedures?
If you’re undergoing a major dental procedure such as wisdom tooth extraction, your dentist will almost definitely put you to sleep, and they do this for the same reason a medical anaesthetist would: because the procedure is surgical, and it’s better that you’re unaware of—and unable to respond to—its invasive nature. This is in the interests of minimising pain and stress on your end, and to make the process easier for the professional carrying out the procedure. If you have dental anxiety, you should definitely find a clinic that offers sleep dentistry. As discussed earlier, it’s a good strategy for managing the fear, whether you’re made to feel at ease via sedative or knocked out completely so that you can have your appointment pass in the blink of an eye.
What Can You Do If You Can’t Be Put to Sleep for Your Tooth Extraction?
If sleep dentistry isn’t an option for you for whatever reason, there are other ways to manage your anxiety. For starters, you should let your dentist know how you’re feeling so they can carry out the dental work with your comfort in mind. You should also schedule your appointment for a time when you’re not experiencing additional stressors, which could aggravate your feelings of unease. If you arrive at your appointment feeling uneasy, remember that taking control of your breathing can help introduce a sense of calm. Isolate your focus to your breath and try to regulate it so that you’re keeping a steady, slow respiratory rhythm. This will slow down your heartbeat and make you more mindful of any nervous breath that’s catching in your chest.
Sleep Dentistry in Melbourne
If you’re seeking a clinic that does sleep dentistry in Melbourne, look no further than Stanley St Dental. As a holistic dentist, we are big believers in nurturing patients’ well-being just as much as their oral health. We have sedation and general anaesthesia available, which we can administer orally or via an IV, depending on the nature of the treatment. We want to make every effort to ensure our patients feel comfortable. With sleep dentistry available at our clinic in Melbourne, there’s now no need to let fear hold you back. Get the dental work you need minus the stress at Stanley St Dental!