Sleep dentistry is when dentists use medications to keep people calm and relaxed, or even asleep during a dental procedure. It is sometimes called sedation dentistry. Medications like tranquilizers, nitrous oxide (laughing gas) or intravenous medications are used during sedation dentistry, typically in conjunction with a local anesthetic. The patient doesn’t feel pain, is conscious, and is able to respond when spoken to. Some patients may doze during the procedure, or may not remember parts of it.
Sleep dentistry helps people who are anxious or frightened about going to the dentist to relax during treatment. It is also used for children or people with special needs, who find it difficult to hold still or who may be frightened by the instruments and equipment. Sedation dentistry can also help those with a severe gag reflex or very sensitive teeth. It is occasionally used when a patient needs a lot of work and wants to get it all done in a single appointment.
According to the American Dental Association, sedation dentistry requires additional training for the dentist to meet specific standards. The dental office staff must also complete specialized training to learn how to monitor patients and recognize problems. All staff in the office must be trained in cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR). The dentist must also keep equipment to monitor patients’ blood pressure and oxygen levels in the office to remain compliant with the ADA regulations for sedation dentistry.
At Signature Smiles, Dr. Mikkilineni uses tested and FDA approved sedation options to provide safe and effective treatment. While there is a risk when undergoing anesthesia, our experienced staff is trained to perform the procedure safely and effectively. Prior to the procedure, the dentist will review your medical history to ensure that sleep dentistry is the best option to meet your needs. Dr. Mikkilineni will also choose a dosage and form of sedation suitable for your overall health and age. If you have any inquiries about IV sedation for you, contact the Signature Smiles today.