Sedation, or "sleep" dentistry, is a dental solution designed for patients who dread going to the dentist.

Pain-free & anxiety-free

Many people feel afraid or uncomfortable when they are placed in vulnerable positions like the dental chair, and may experience dental anxiety as a result.

Sleep dentistry is an option for patients who fear dental procedures and needles, have difficulty with their gag reflex, have very sensitive teeth, or have difficulty becoming numb from oral injections.

Sleep dentistry offers pain-free and anxiety-free dental procedures as patients are in a deeply relaxed state, though may be fully responsive.

Reduced visits

Sleep dentistry also provides an opportunity to perform multiple or lengthy dental procedures in one session, minimising the number of visits a patient has to make and ultimately reducing the build up of anxiety prior to each dental visit.

Modern methods of sedation and general anaesthesia are low risk and safe. If you are in good health, the risk of a serious reaction to the anaesthetic and sedation is very small. The risks are greater in the elderly, the very young, and medically compromised patients.

Types of sedation dentistry

Also known as ‘happy’ gas, this is the most common sedation technique. A small hood is placed over the nose through which a mixture of oxygen and nitrous oxide is inhaled.

Inhalation sedation is a preferable option as patients recover quickly and may leave the dental office alone and immediately resume their normal daily activities. It is particularly popular and effective for children.

This technique is more effective than administering the same drugs orally. Patients will not remember any of the procedure and will feel as though they were asleep, even though they were wide-awake throughout. When intravenous sedation is used, a specialist anaesthetist is required to monitor blood pressure, breathing, and heart rate.

Patients must have somebody escort them after the procedure and should not sign documents or operative heavy machinery, as mild sedative effects may last up to 24 hours.

During the procedure, patients are CONSCIOUS but mentally “detached” from what’s going on, and before they know it, the dentist will be telling them the dental procedure is over and they can go home.

This is required only in extreme cases of dental anxiety, or complex treatment such as the surgical removal of wisdom teeth or placement of implants. This technique also requires a specialist anaesthetist and is performed as day surgery in hospital.

The patient is completely unaware of the procedure and will not feel any pain.  Recovery may take longer and be less pleasant than with IV sedation.

The after effects of sedation

Depending on the type of sedation and treatment that you have had, you may experience one or more of the following:

  • Pain or bruising at the injection site.
  • Disturbed ability to concentrate.
  • Nausea

Talk to your dentist

Anxious or phobic patients find that sleep dentistry offers a perfect solution for maintaining good dental health while being in a totally relaxed state.

Please consult your dentist to discuss these treatment options and costs.