Have you ever had intense anxiety about going to the dentist? Have you had a lot of sensitivity and pain during dental appointments? Then sleep dentistry could be the answer!
Here’s why we’re passionate about sleep dentistry. Regular dental cleanings and exams can prevent more serious problems. If you get an infection in your teeth or gums, that bacteria can spread. Cracks in teeth can get worse and worse. Damaged or missing teeth can lead to malnourishment.
We do not want any of our patients to miss dental appointments out of fear. Sleep dentistry can make your appointment fly by, take away the pain, and make you feel comfortable and relaxed while you’re here. Sleep dentistry can be amazing for your overall health and peace of mind.
Do You Need Sleep Dentistry?
You might need sleep dentistry for any number of reasons. If you think you do, let us know! It’s fine to ask about it, and allow us to answer your questions. We have seen every dental situation and will never judge you for having dental anxiety.
Below are a few questions to ask yourself if you think you might need sleep dentistry:
- Have I ever avoided going to the dentist just because of fear?
- Have I been diagnosed with a generalized anxiety disorder?
- Am I resistant to local anesthesia?
- Have I experienced a large amount of pain during past dental appointments?
If you answered “yes” to even one of these questions, please talk to us about it! We’ll find a solution for you that will make you more comfortable with getting dental services.
The Types of Services We Offer
We use two methods of making our patients feel better during exams and procedures:
- Oral Sedation: This simple type of sedation doesn’t involve any needles! All you do is take a pill before you come to your appointment. It’ll make you very calm and less focused on the procedure. Just be sure to get a ride home!
- Laughing Gas: Laughing gas has been used in dentistry for many years. You’ll breathe some in during your appointment, and it will make you feel comfortable and relaxed right away. Plus, it’ll leave your system immediately afterwards, so you can drive home or go to work without any other effects.
We want to help relieve your anxiety, so you can get the care you need! Talk to us about your anxiety before your appointment, so we can help.
What Are the Benefits of Sleep Dentistry?
It’s easy to think that sleep dentistry’s benefit is taking the fear out of dental visits. This is true, but there’s much more to appreciate about dental sedation than this. In addition to helping you feel emotionally comfortable for your dental appointments, sedation can also enhance the effects of your local anesthetic that numbs the mouth. Sedation calms the body at the level of the central nervous system. As such, it relaxes the muscles, including the throat. If you have a strong gag reflex, sedation can help minimize it or subdue it entirely during your visit. Being in a relaxed state, it is easier to undergo not just one dental procedure but multiple. Many people choose to combine dental treatments with the help of sleep dentistry, saving them time in the long run.
Does Sedation Dentistry Put You Fully to Sleep?
The types of sedation dentistry offered in our Mill Creek, WA office do not fully put you to sleep. They are, however, two of the most popular forms of dental sedation available today. Inhalation sedation, otherwise known as laughing gas, delivers nitrous oxide, a proven sedative and pain reliever, continuously throughout your procedure. You are awake but deeply relaxed and unafraid. Oral conscious sedation works similarly but involves taking a pill sometime before your treatment begins. Due to the method of delivery, oral sedatives take longer to wear off than inhalation sedation.
How Long Do the Effects of Sedation Last?
If you receive nitrous oxide during your dental procedure, we will taper off the sedative and increase the amount of oxygen you receive once your treatment is complete. It typically takes no more than five minutes for the effects of the sedative to fully resolve. You can safely drive home after receiving nitrous oxide. Oral conscious sedation is ingested so takes more time to metabolize. The effects of this form of sedation can last as little as two hours or as long as eight. It is difficult to predict the rate of dissolution for each patient.
Does Sleep Dentistry also Relieve Pain?
The sedative medications used during dental procedures have been shown to help reduce pain sensations in the body. However, we do not rely on sedation for pain management. If you receive sleep dentistry, Dr. Greenhalgh will still administer local anesthetic to the area around the tooth or teeth he is treating. The role that the sedative plays is to relax your mind and body and, from that, augment the effects of the lidocaine or other anesthetic that is used. In combination, the two techniques should achieve complete comfort during your visit.
Can I Receive Sedation Every Time I Visit the Dentist?
You sure can! Our primary goal is to help you attend to your oral health in the best way possible! Talk to our team about your preference for sedation, even if you’re coming in for an exam and cleaning. We want you to enjoy all of the benefits of routine dental care. You may be pleasantly surprised that, after some time, you find it much less frightful to receive care from our friendly, compassionate team. And if you don’t, we won’t have our feelings hurt!
Are There Any Side Effects from Sleep Dentistry?
There are minimal side effects associated with sleep dentistry due to the transient effects of the medications that are commonly used. Nitrous oxide may cause a sensation of dizziness or lightheadedness. There is also a possibility of shivering, nausea, headache, or vomiting. Because nitrous oxide is fast-acting and delivered in combination with oxygen, a quick adjustment to the dosage can correct these side effects. Oral conscious sedation is not easily reversed. However, the most common side effects include foggy thinking, grogginess, a headache, and dry mouth. None of these side effects are particularly dangerous, but they will prevent you from being able to drive until you have completely recovered from your treatment.
Call and Ask about Sleep Dentistry
Don’t let anxiety take away the improved health and safety that comes with regular dental care. We’ll use all our knowledge, compassion, and technology to make you comfortable and happy at your dental appointment.
Call us at(425) 357-6400 and ask about sleep dentistry. We can make an appointment for you, discuss your needs, and do everything possible to help you be calm and relaxed. You can start with any level of dental services you’re comfortable with and stop whenever you wish.