Sleep Dentistry for Anxiety During Dental Procedures

Posted November 26, 2021 by in Health + Fitness

It’s no secret that just thinking of going to the dentist in Port Melbourne makes most people anxious. However, there are some cases where this fear becomes so intense that it can lead to complete avoidance of the dentist for years. In most cases, this can lead to dental problems that can be costly and painful to fix later.

Luckily, a relatively new treatment known as sleep dentistry has been used successfully in many cases where traditional relaxation techniques have failed, allowing people who would otherwise avoid going to the dentist to receive the dental care they need. In sleep dentistry, the patient is given a medication known as a sedative alongside a mild stimulant to induce wakefulness and alertness. Once the drug has been provided, the patient typically falls asleep within minutes and remains in a state of deep sleep throughout most of their treatment. 

Untreated anxiety can lead to several dental problems: Dental phobia and other anxiety disorders can become severe issues for those who suffer from them. They can lead to missed opportunities for early detection of serious dental problems, which in turn can lead to more expensive and time-consuming treatments down the road as well as pain and infection, all of which should be avoided if at all possible. 

There are several reasons that anxiety and fear of the dentist are so prevalent: 

Another factor that can contribute to dental anxiety is a bad dental experience from the past. It’s normal for some people to avoid going to the dentist if they had a traumatic or painful experience one or more times in the past, even if it was just a few years ago. This can have severe consequences if it turns into an avoidance issue, so it’s essential to find ways of dealing with this early on to avoid making things worse later on. 

It has been noted that certain personality types are more prone to dental anxiety than others: Social anxiety disorder is just one of several conditions often seen in conjunction with dental phobia. In some cases, a dentist visit may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting as well. 

Several methods can be used to alleviate anxiety during a visit to the dentist: Learning relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and muscle relaxation is the first step toward successful treatment. Relaxation techniques are quickly known, and it’s not unusual for people to see a noticeable improvement in just a day or two. 

Other methods involve learning more about the dental process, including understanding what to expect during various types of procedures and information on how different medications work before treatment begins. Finally, sedation dentistry has proven to be effective in many cases where other methods have failed. 

It’s important to note that while sedatives are often used in sleep dentistry, they are not the same thing as an anaesthetic. Instead, sedatives put the patient into a relaxed state while leaving them fully conscious of their surroundings. This allows patients to hear questions and instructions from the dentist while following all of the instructions they are given. As a result, sleep dentistry is less stressful overall than traditional types of sedation, although it’s still not for everyone. 

The use of sedatives in sleep dentistry is effective in reducing or eliminating the fear that many people experience during dental procedures: One possible drawback of sleep dentistry is that it can be much more expensive than traditional sedation. However, if the cost is still reasonable, then it may well be worth considering as an option for those serious about getting their dental issues dealt with once and for all. 

While patients are unaware of precisely what goes on during a procedure, they are awake enough to respond to verbal instructions or hand signals. In addition, the patient is usually able to hold still, which helps the dentist work without having to worry about accidentally causing pain or discomfort. 

*Photos by Pavel Danilyuk