Understanding sedation dentistry vs. sleep dentistry

When patients hear the term sleep dentistry, they sometimes believe that it is just another term for sedation dentistry. Unfortunately, sleep dentistry and sedation dentistry are two different types of treatments. At Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry, we can help patients discern the difference between these terms and better understand the process and purpose of both.

What is sleep dentistry?

Sleep dentistry is a term used for dentists who provide relaxation through the use of IV sedation. An IV is placed in the patient’s arm, and sedatives are administered directly into the bloodstream. This provides fast and deep sedation. It is often administered by a trained and experience anesthesiologist who monitors the patient’s vital signs throughout the procedure. Patients are truly asleep while their dental work is completed.

What is sedation dentistry?

Sedation dentistry is the use of a mild sedative that allows patients to still be awake and coherent during their appointment. In most cases, sedatives may include oral conscious sedation (medication taken by mouth for relaxation) or nitrous oxide (laughing gas). While patients are awake during these sedative methods, they are often extremely calm and relieved of anxious feelings. This allows the dentist to complete dental work while the patient is still in a position to answer questions and communicate with the dental team.

Sedation dentistry at Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry

At our practice, our dentists offer sedation dentistry via oral conscious sedation or nitrous oxide. These sedation methods are best for patients with mild to moderate anxieties that might otherwise keep them from having necessary dental work done. Dr. LeSueur is a member of DOCS (Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation) and avoids the use of IV anesthesia, as there are inherent risks that may arise with these methods of “sleep dentistry.”

Are you considering sedation for your next dental appointment?

Contact the team at Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry in Mesa, Arizona by calling (480) 834-6991 to request a consultation appointment. During this time, our dentists can educate patients on the ways in which we can assist with sedation options for a more positive experience at the dental office.

Posted in: Sedation Dentistry Options

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