I haven’t heard of sleep dentistry before. Is it new?
No. Sleep Dentistry at our Melbourne clinics involves the use of anaesthetics at a level that still allows patients to be responsive. It is used for a range of medical procedures, including endoscopies, bronchoscopies and colonoscopies. The type of medication and levels used depends entirely on the patient and their treatment. Not all clinics offer sleep dentistry in Melbourne as it is rather a specialised service requiring an extensive range of equipment, anaesthetists and trained staff. Our unique, purpose-built facility allows us to provide this service for a wide range of dental procedures.
Wouldn’t I only choose sleep dentistry for major procedures?
Although we often think of different types of anaesthesia in terms of what treatments they are best suited to, it is perhaps better to think of dental sedation as patient-specific, rather than treatment-specific.
IV sedation can be used in combination with other pain and discomfort-reducing medications, depending on the nature of dental procedures being undertaken.
For patients who are nervous at the prospect of relatively minor treatments, sedation can simply allow you to relax and to not remember the procedure once you’re awake. Needle phobics will be asleep and unaware of the use of any needles throughout their treatment. It can also be used in paediatric dentistry to help calm nervous or uncooperative children if deemed appropriate.
Is sedation safe for use in paediatric dentistry?
Yes. A specialist anaesthetist develops a plan for you based on your medical history and the dental procedures planned. The anaesthetist is by your side the entire time you are asleep, monitoring your pulse, blood pressure, carbon dioxide, oxygen saturation, ECG and depth of sedation. They constantly adjust the medication administered to ensure that you are both safe and comfortable.
As treatment is tailored to suit individual patients, it is safe for use in both general and paediatric dentistry. Although we explain treatments to children in ways they can understand, they may still struggle to understand the need to stay calm and still. Of course, some dental procedures can also be uncomfortable. This is where having the capabilities for sleep dentistry at Sleep Dentistry Melbourne can be beneficial; it can help smooth the path of paediatric dentistry treatments.
Do I need to prepare for twilight sedation in the same way that I would prepare for other anaesthetic treatments?
Yes. Anaesthetic drugs can affect your system in a number of ways, which means that you will need to:
- Make sure your anaesthetist is aware of any pre-existing medical conditions or medications you may be taking
- Fast for 6 hours before your procedure (this includes refraining from water)
- Organise to have someone collect you after the procedure and assist you with some activities later in the day, for example housework; you may be drowsy, which can affect your ability to perform some activities safely