Sleep Dentistry in Philadelphia, PA
Does the thought of going to the dentist make you feel uneasy? As much as you would like to skip out on your appointment, the alternative is enduring the agony of a throbbing toothache — which, we assure you, is much worse. For some people, just walking into the dentist’s office can be terrifying, and for others, it’s no big deal. Everyone’s experience at the dentist differs, which is why at Center City Emergency Dentist in Philadelphia, it is our goal to provide each and every one of our patients with personal attention to ensure their maximum comfort.
If you’re someone who avoids going to the dentist like the plague, sleep dentistry might be a more suitable alternative that can help take away some of your anxiety. At Center City Emergency Dentist, we can provide oral sedation for more invasive dental procedures and oral surgery, or even for simple, routine cleanings.Read More
What is Sleep Dentistry?
Sleep dentistry, also known as “sedation dentistry,” uses sedatives to help a patient relax during their procedure. In sleep dentistry, the patient isn’t always necessarily unconscious. Patients are typically awake during dental procedures unless they’re under general anesthesia.
The different levels of sedation include:
- Minimal sedation — If you are minimally sedated, you will remain awake, but feel much more relaxed for your procedure.
- Moderate sedation — When moderately sedated, you may feel drowsy, or even fall asleep; however, you’ll be easily awakened when touched or spoken to.
- Deep sedation — In deep sedation, you’ll lose consciousness and sleep through the procedure.
Types of Anesthesia Used in Dentistry
Local Anesthesia — With almost every dental procedure, a local anesthetic is administered by injection to numb the area. Not only does a local anesthetic eliminate pain during the procedure, but it also prevents the nerve fibers in the gums from transmitting impulses. Depending on the procedure, a local anesthetic may be combined with different types of conscious sedation techniques.
Requirements: Local anesthetics are generally very safe and will wear off after approximately 4-6 hours; however, patients should be able to drive home after the procedure.
Nitrous Oxide (Minimal Sedation) — Also known as “laughing gas,” nitrous oxide is the lightest form of conscious sedation. This type of sedation is inhaled through a nasal mask before the procedure, typically used for minor oral surgical procedures or Veneers. Patients who use nitrous oxide feel relaxed, but are completely conscious. The dentist will control the amount administered, though the effects of the gas tend to quickly wear off after the mask is removed.
Requirements: Once the nitrous oxide wears off and a patient is fully alert, they should be able to drive themselves home after the procedure.
Oral Sedation (Minimal to Moderate) — The sedation level of oral sedation depends on the dose given. With oral sedation, patients are given a pill about an hour prior to the procedure, which will provide minimal sedation. Patients typically feel very relaxed and calm during the procedure. Although awake, some pills will make patients feel drowsy. For more moderate sedation, a higher dosage of the pill may be given. If given a larger dose, patients may feel groggy enough to fall asleep during the procedure. At Center City Emergency Dentist, we’ll discuss which type of oral sedation is best for your particular situation, whether you need dental implants, a root canal or another dental procedure.
Requirements: The effects of oral sedation may take a few hours to wear off, which is why we require that all patients receiving oral sedation must be accompanied by a driver.
IV (Moderate Sedation) — IV, or intravenous, sedation is administered directly through the vein, which allows for quick and effective results. If given IV sedation, patients remain conscious; however, they’ll be completely unaware of the procedure.
Requirements: Patients will need to be accompanied by a driver and escorted home.
General Anesthesia (Deep Sedation) — Most patients prefer general anesthesia for invasive dental procedures. With this, patients will be completely unconscious. Until the effects of the anesthesia wear off, or medication is given to reverse the effects of the anesthesia, patients remain unconscious.
Requirements: All patients receiving a general anesthetic must be accompanied by a driver.
If you need periodontal services, or another dental procedure, and would like to discuss your options for sleep dentistry, contact Center City Emergency Dentist in Philadelphia for more information.