If you’re on our website, chances are that you’re interested in sleep dentistry. As we’ve talked about in previous blogs, sometimes adults and children are scared of the dentist.
When this fear leads to avoiding routine dental visits, it’s considered a dental phobia. Dental phobia can destroy your smile, leading to gum disease, cavities, and even tooth loss from not going for routine dental exams.
One way to get important procedures done and bypass your dental anxiety is by undergoing what’s known as “sleep dentistry.”
The term “sleep dentistry” can be used to describe two totally separate facets of dentistry. Today, we want to explain sleep dentistry that treats dental phobia, as well as give you an idea of the other version of sleep dentistry.
Sleep Dentistry for Dental Phobia
Would you rather rip your own fingernails off than visit the dentist? Or, perhaps, going to the dentist makes your stomach gurgle with fear. If so, you should consider sleep dentistry.
While sometimes dental phobia can keep you up at night, “sleep dentistry” doesn’t have anything to do with sleeping at your house. Oftentimes, it’s a term that’s used interchangeably with sedation dentistry.
Sedation dentistry is the best way to feel comfortable going to the dentist. It allows you to chill out during any of your dental procedures.
Whether you need a simple cavity filled or a more intensive cosmetic procedure, sedation dentistry will allow you to sleep through your entire appointment and wake up smiling. Only when you wake up, your smile will be even healthier than before.
Even if you’re not afraid of the dentist, sleep dentistry could also benefit you if you have other difficulty going to the dentist, like a sensitive gag reflex.
Depending on the treatment you’re getting done, your dentist can use different levels of sedation. For instance, you can use a mild sedation, or you can opt for being deeply sedated, which is where the term “sleep dentistry” comes from.
As far as sleep dentistry goes, there are two main methods for sedation: oral and IV. For oral sedation, you can take an anti-anxiety pill or a light sleeping pill about an hour before your appointment. This way, when you get to your appointment, you will begin feeling the sedative effects.
For oral options, you’ll be awake during your treatment, but you’ll feel relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire thing. Chances are you also won’t remember the treatment.
For sedation, a licensed anesthesiologist will administer the medicine through an IV in your arm or inhaled through your mouth. If your specific phobia is needles, this is a great option for you.
Sleep Dentistry for Sleep Disorders
“Sleep Dentistry” is also a term used to describe ways in which your dentist can help you with sleeping problems.
Sleep dentists are especially helpful for treating obstructive sleep apnea.
Dentists use dental appliances to pull your jaw forward and keep your tongue from blocking your airway.
Sleep dentists are also able to help treat issues like evening teeth grinding. They take a mold of your mouth to make custom mouthguards that protect your teeth in the evening and help you sleep more comfortably.