Sedation vs. Sleep Dentistry
These two options are both effective but work differently. Sedation is often given in pill form and helps to calm your nerves and eliminate your anxiety. For shorter procedures, this is often the best solution, because you will be calm enough to get through the procedure while remaining completely relaxed. Sedation does not actually address any pain, but in many cases, the procedure is not painful. Sedation can also be given in combination with a local anesthesia to numb the area being worked on. While sedated, you will be relaxed and maybe sleep, but you will have full control over your body and be able to respond to commands without a problem.
Sleep dentistry works differently in that you actually go to sleep. As a sleep dentist, we are one of the few providers that offer this solution (most only offer pain medication). We can actually put you to sleep so you are not aware of what is happening, do not feel anything, and will have no memory of the actual procedure. If you are having significant cosmetic dentistry work completed, oral surgery, or periodontics treatments, you may want to consider this option. Going to sleep makes it possible for you to have a pleasant dental experience, regardless of how much anxiety you have at the thought of visiting the dentist. It also means that when you do wake up, you will have no lingering bad memories associated with the procedure itself. This can often promote a greater sense of well-being that is important for a fast recovery process.
As a sleep dentist, we do want to warn you that not everyone will qualify for sleep dentistry. You need to be in fairly good health, and we will want to examine you and discuss your health history prior to making an appointment for your procedure. This is important for ensuring there are no complications arising out of putting you under anesthesia. Also, since you are going to sleep, you will not be able to respond to commands or walk around on your own, so time will be needed to fully wake up and become alert again once the procedure has been completed. We typically recommend having someone on hand to drive you home, so you can rest before naturally feeling alert again.
When you visit our sleep dentist office, we can discuss all this with you in further detail so you can make an informed decision regarding how you want to proceed.