Daniel Daniel - If you are someone who doesn't like dental appointments- i mean who REALLY doesn't like dental appointments, to the point of being highly anxious, phobic or panicked about them- you could have wondered whether there's a way of having your dental treatment done without you needing to be aware of what's going on.
You may be pleased to know that there are 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 called "Sleep Dentistry".
It's important for you to know that "Sleep Dentistry" is really a misnomer- people seldom really fall asleep during a "Sleep Dentistry" appointment. However, most 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 basically means...
"Intravenous Sedation" is a term that describes the procedure of giving sedative drugs to someone through a vein. A line is set up into the vein, whereby a registered practitioner administers the sedative medications. The person rapidly becomes drowsy and relaxed, as well as the dental treatment is done even though they remain in this heavily sedated state. The sedatives used are strong, and do take many hours to wear off. However, people generally just need to remain under supervision inside the dental office for a short period after their appointment. When they're sufficiently recovered to depart the dental office, they actually do so under the supervision of an adult family member or friend, who then needs to stay with them in your house until the effects of the sedation are completely gone.
This type of sedation is additionally called 'Conscious Sedation' because the patient remains conscious always during the appointment (unlike an over-all anaesthetic where they may be completely unconscious). Patients will sometimes be so relaxed that they will doze off a little, if the dentist asks them a matter they are easily roused and will generally answer it.
You could be wondering how a conscious patient could ever make reference to intravenous sedation as "Sleep Dentistry"?
A better solution lies in one of the negative effects of the sedative drugs that are used: most patients undergoing intravenous sedation get each year some level of amnesia. They might remember arriving at the dentist, they may remember elements of the trip home, nevertheless they seldom remember many details in any way about the dental treatment itself. As much as they are concerned, we were holding 'asleep' during the entire appointment- hence the description "Sleep Dentistry".
Intravenous Sedation for Dentistry just isn't without risks, however your dentist will always discuss them you before you make your appointment. Only 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 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 won't cure a dental phobia or high dental anxiety. It lets you do, however, provide an alternative for people who otherwise may well not seek the dental treatment they require, and knowing that it's available can make patients feel far more relaxed about ongoing dentistry.