Let’s face it: there aren’t many people who enjoy going to the dentist. Most people would rather put it off for as long as they can, not just because it’s inconvenient, but because they fear the pain and discomfort that they associate with traditional dentist visits. There are those who hate the sound and feeling of the vibrating drill. Plenty of people hate the smells associated with a dentist’s office: the scent of antiseptic combined with something that’s not quite mint. Some people take it a step further: they’re downright terrified of what they’re going to experience in the dentist’s chair, and there’s nothing anyone can say that will convince them that it won’t be “that bad.”
Enter sleep dentistry. While it won’t do anything to help get you through the door, sleep dentistry can give you a much more pleasant experience in the dentist’s chair, sedating you so that you’re comfortable and relaxed throughout the visit. This has a number of benefits:
- Since you’re in a relaxed state, you won’t be tensing up. That means that your jaw will be looser, which will make keeping your mouth open while you’re at the dentist more comfortable.
- You won’t jump at an unexpected moment, which means that you’re less likely to be jabbed by dental tools.
- You’ll be able to relax and be less aware that time is passing, so you won’t be as upset by the length of the visit.
- Your fear response will be reduced, so you won’t be as anxious about sitting in the dentist’s chair.
- Your gag reflex won’t be as intense, so if you’re used to having to fight to keep your lunch down throughout the procedure, you’ll be able to keep your stomach more stable.
- You won’t notice over-sensitive teeth and gums as intensely as you would during a normal dental procedure.
Wondering what to expect from a sleep dentistry procedure? You’ll need to fast ahead of time just like you would for any surgery–usually for about six hours prior to the procedure. It’s recommended that you wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothes that you’re used to relaxing in.
Once you’re there, you’ll be given a combination of pain relievers and anti-anxiety medications that will help promote a drowsy, half-asleep state. The dose is measured carefully and is perfectly safe. It simply allows you the luxury of relaxing through whatever dental procedure you need.
After the procedure is over, you’ll wake up slowly, just like you’re waking from sleep. It will take several hours for the medications to wear off completely. For that reason, you’ll need a responsible adult to drive you home. You’ll need to clear your calendar for the day of the procedure–no hurrying off to work when your dental work is done. You may feel sleepy for much of the rest of the day, and it’s probably better if that responsible adult sticks around to watch after you.
Sleep dentistry is a great way to reduce your fear and anxiety associated with the dentist. Whether you tense up as soon as you hear the sound of the drill or have teeth so sensitive that you cringe every time someone comes near them, you’ll be able to drift away throughout the procedure, enjoying a sense of peace and calm that you’ve never felt at the dentist before.
If you’re looking for a practice that will offer sleep dentistry options to help you conquer your fear and dislike of the dentist, contact us! We’d love to work with you to get your smile looking its best without all the anxiety you’ve associated with the dentist in the past.