Recent years have seen an increasing number of people opting for sleep dentistry, also known as sedation dentistry. With the increasing popularity of sleep dentistry, the myths and misconceptions surrounding this practice have naturally increased as well. This is preventing many people from obtaining a treatment that could give dentist visits an entirely new definition.
Here we explore the top 5 sleep dentistry myths and put them to rest.
5. I don’t need it if I’m not getting a major procedure done
False. Anyone who claims that major procedures are the only ones that can and should be done with sleep dentists don’t know what they’re talking about. You can most definitely opt for sleep dentistry for more than just root canals and dental surgeries. What services can you get done under sedation? Simple – sleep dentistry can be used for any procedure carried out in a dentist’s chair. This includes anything from a general examination to cleaning and polishing to removing plaque and tartar.
4. It’s too dangerous, I don’t want to risk it
False. Many are under the impression that sleep dentistry being an upcoming trend means it is still unproven and carries substantial risks. The truth is that sleep dentistry, like any other practice, is only dangerous when performed by untrained and uncertified dentists. All medication used by sleep dentists is safe and does not cause harmful side effects when administered by a trained and certified sleep dentist. Dentists will also carry out regular safety checks during each procedure such as monitoring your heartbeats, blood pressure, and oxygen levels. Accredited dentists will also maintain the quality of their equipment and medication, and be prepared for any emergency situations to ensure the safest possible sleep dentistry treatment. If you’re still not convinced, your dentist will be most happy to walk you through the process and ensure your questions about safety are answered.
3. I’ve got a busy schedule, sleep dentistry will take too long
False. If you’re working a regular office job from 9 to 5 and find it difficult to take time off for dentist visits, you might be worried about sleep dentistry taking too long. The truth is that most people don’t experience any residual effects from the medication and can even drive back from the dental clinic depending on the type of sedation they were under. The time taken for the medication to completely wear off will definitely differ among people but it’s most unlikely for this to take longer than an hour or two. Of course, this will again depend on the type of sedation that was administered during the sleep dentistry procedures. If you’re not considering sleep dentistry as an option because of the wasted time, you can be assured that you’ll be able to go about your activities right after the procedure.
2. I don’t have dental anxiety so there’s no need for sleep dentistry
False. Even if you don’t have a phobia of the dentist’s chair, sleep dentistry will definitely make the process easier for you. If you get annoyed by the gag reflex whenever you visit the dentist or dislike sitting in one position for too long, sleep dentistry can make you much more comfortable during the procedure. Even if you’re only slightly nervous and uncomfortable with dental procedures, having it done under sedation will ease all anxiety and discomfort. This is particularly beneficial for children who are fidgety or people with special needs who may not be able to control involuntary movements.
1. I’m going to be unconscious in a dentist’s chair
False. This is the most widely-believed myth surrounding sleep dentistry. Sleep dentistry, despite the misleading name, does not actually perform any procedures when you’re asleep or unconscious. There are three main levels of sedation. Under minimal sedation, you will be calm but still aware. Under moderate sedation, you will feel a greater sense of relaxation and may not remember most of the procedure. Under deep sedation, you will be completely relaxed and mostly unaware of the procedure, but you will still be awake. The type of sleep dentistry medication used and hence the extent of sedation will depend on the procedure being carried out and other conditions such as anxiety level. Under all forms of sleep dentistry, you will be a lot more calm and relaxed than you would have been otherwise, and won’t have any unpleasant memories of the procedure.
Why put yourself through uncomfortable dentist visits when you can have a completely relaxed experience? There are many other myths surrounding sleep dentistry and most of them are completely unfounded. Call your dentist now and they’ll verify!