SEDATION DENTISTRY VS. SLEEP DENTISTRY
Fear of dental visits can be debilitating. Since it’s often related to traumatic experiences patients may have had as children, it can also be difficult to overcome. Many modern dentists, including Dr. LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro, offer alternatives that can help you get past your fear and get the dental care you need painlessly and without anxiety
What is Sleep Dentistry (IV Sedation)?
Some dentists use general or IV anesthesia, and refer to this practice as “sleep dentistry.” With sleep dentistry, you are completely unconscious while dental work is being done. This may seem like a good idea at first, especially if your dental phobia is particularly intense, but it’s not the best approach to take. General anesthesia carries a number of risks and has a wide variety of possible side effects. The after effects of general anesthesia can be extremely uncomfortable, involving intense nausea and grogginess.
What is sedation dentistry?
The point of sedation dentistry is to provide peace of mind to the patient undergoing dental treatment. In most cases, it does not involve anesthesia, but simply puts the patient into a very relaxed state. Sedation dentistry makes use of a mild oral sedative and/or nitrous oxide (laughing gas) administered before or during your dental work. Sedation dentistry is a powerful tool to help you overcome your fear of the dentist and take care of dental work you may have been putting off for years.
Sedation dentistry vs sleep dentistry
While sedation dentistry is sometimes incorrectly referred to as sleep dentistry, the sedated patient is actually awake and can respond (but is very relaxed) and remembers little or nothing about the visit. When looking for a sedation dentist, though, it’s important to be sure you understand what the individual dentist means if they use the term “sleep dentistry.”
Dr. LeSueur practices sedation dentistry, and is a member of the Dental Organization for Conscious Sedation (DOCS) and never uses IV anesthesia. General anesthetic and IV relaxation are the true “sleep dentistry” and are not used due to numerous risks inherent in their use.
By contrast, in sedation dentistry, oral sedation or nitrous oxide leaves you in a thoroughly relaxed, “floaty” state. You’re aware of what’s going on, but with no anxiety or fear whatsoever. If you opt for nitrous oxide, you can even drive yourself home after your procedure and many times you will have no remembrance of the procedure at all. Be sure to arrange a driver if you have oral relaxation, though, as the effects take longer to wear off.
Schedule an appointment
For more information on sedation dentistry at Drs of Smiles, call and schedule an appointment at (480) 834-6991 today! Dr. Scott LeSueur, Dr. Glenn LeSueur and Dr. Dodaro serve Mesa, Gilbert, Phoenix, Arizona and surrounding areas.