Sleep dentistry involves the use of sedatives in calming a patient just before a dental procedure is performed. The specialised branch of dentistry provides for several benefits for both patient and dentist – increased levels of relaxation, comfort and cooperation coupled with lesser trauma on the patient’s part as well as easier, faster and more effective administration of the planned procedure on the part of the dentist, among others. Suffice to say, that the popularity of sedation dentistry clinics in Melbourne is on the rise. Take for example Healthy Smiles, who have been offering sedation dentistry for some time now.

Dental sedation may still be an unknown aspect of dental healthcare among many Australians and we all know that the unknown elicits fears, rightly or wrongly. Let’s then discuss the safety aspects of sleep dentistry so as to dispel most, if not all, of the fears brought by inefficiency in reliable information about the matter.

Sedation Levels

Practitioners of sedation dentistry Melbourne clinics such as Healthy Smiles, currently apply three levels of sedation for their patients with all levels considered safe when used appropriately. The dentist will choose the most suitable type depending on the patient’s age, physical condition, and personal preferences so as to ensure the highest levels of comfort, safety and results. It must be noted as well as the sleep dentistry is a science so exact measurements are used to ensure maximum safety, too.

  • Mild sedation is usually administered via an oral sedative like Haldol. The pill will be given an hour before the scheduled procedure so that the patient sits on the dental chair relaxed, drowsy yet still conscious.
  • Moderate sedation is typically achieved with the inhalation of nitrous oxide or laughing gas. The patient is still conscious and, hence, able to follow instructions although he will have little to no memory of the actual procedure when the anaesthetic wears off.
  • Deep sedation usually involves the intravenous injection of the sedative into the patient’s bloodstream.

As any reliable practitioner of sleep dentistry will attest, not everybody will agree with dental sedation, so to speak. Certain individuals are at high risks of experiencing side effects including complication while under sedation. Certain people may not also be able to handle the sedation method used particularly intravenous injection although they can handle the sedative itself.

Sleep Dentistry is Safe for Most Patients Except:

There are individuals that sedation dentist will have second thoughts about administering sedatives as part of dental procedures. These individual include:

  • Temporary health conditions like flu. The sleep dentistry practitioner will defer the procedure until after the patient becomes healthier.
  • Chronic conditions like respiratory illnesses (i.e., asthma). The risk of obstructing the airways is uncharacteristically high, thus, the deferment.
  • Obesity. People who are overweight or obese are more likely to experience air blockages as well and, thus, are strongly advised to avoid dental sedation.

If you are a relatively healthy individual, then by all means seek out the best sleep dentistry practitioner for your dental healthcare needs.

Safe for Children and the Elderly, Too, But With Precautions

Both children and the elderly usually face higher risks than adults when medical and dental procedures are involved. In most cases, being under sedation during dental procedures is safe for both cohorts but certain precautions will be made to lessen the risks, said precautions of which include:

  • Testing for allergies
  • Determining possible adverse interactions with current medications being taken in relation to the sedatives being used
  • Diagnosing for possible underlying medical conditions unsuitable for dental sedation

The bottom line: Always discuss your options – the types of sedatives as well as their pros and cons – before consenting to any sleep dentistry procedure. In general, fortunately, most people including children and the elderly experience little to no side effects when under sedation and sedation dentists have various techniques to significantly lessen the possible side effects of the sedatives.

Of course, the importance of finding a reliable, reputable and experienced practitioner of sleep dentistry in ensuring the safety of patients under sedation cannot be overlooked. Get in touch with Healthy Smiles today on 03 9877 2035.

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