Lay your fears to rest

Sleep dentistry, also referred to as “sedation dentistry”, is designed to help phobic dental patients feel more relaxed and at ease and is currently available at Core Dental Epping and Wyndham.

Sleep dentistry, also referred to as “sedation dentistry”, is designed to help phobic dental patients feel more relaxed and at ease and is currently available at Core Dental Epping and Wyndham.

Some of us have a fear of dental treatment and can be very apprehensive about visiting the dentist. Dental phobia is extremely common, but with sedation dentistry it no longer needs to be a barrier to healthy teeth and gums.

Sedation dentistry involves the administration of a sedative to an anxious patient. The patient is put into a state of deep relaxation (sedation) so that dental treatment can be performed without the patient feeling anxious or concerned during the procedure. Intravenous sedation is a lighter level of anaesthesia than general anaesthesia – so, while patients will not be able to communicate during the procedure and are likely to have little memory of it, they will still have their natural reflexes such as coughing and gagging.

The sleep dentistry technique is ideal for patients with a strong dental phobia who need prolonged procedures such as the treatment of multiple teeth at different locations in the mouth.

How does sleep dentistry work?

The most common approach – used for patients who are fit and well – is intravenous sedation. It is usually delivered via a small plastic tube connected to a needle given in the back of the hand or in the arm.

For patients who are anxious about needles, we sometimes use inhalation sedation, administering a sedative gas (commonly known as “happy gas”) via a mask – either as an alternative to, or in conjunction with, intravenous sedation – as well as topical anaesthetic cream.

Intravenous sedation achieves a deeper sedation than inhalation sedation, with most intravenous patients having little or no memory of the dental experience. The vast majority of patients leave treatment feeling as though they have simply had a long sleep.

Who might use it?

Sleep dentistry is likely to benefit you if you:

  • experience high anxiety about dental visits
  • have suffered traumatic dental experiences in the past
  • need multiple extractions or dentistry in multiple sites
  • have difficulty achieving numbness
  • have a severe or strong gag reflex or worries about gagging during impressions for crown and bridgework
  • are afraid of needles in the mouth
  • dislike the noises or smells often associated with dental care.

Sedation dentistry at Core Dental Group

Our dedicated sedation team consists of a specialist anaesthetist, an experienced sedation dentist and a senior dental assistant. All have considerable experience in caring for patients with dental phobia, ensuring dental treatment that is both relaxed and comfortable.

At some dental practices, intravenous sedation is given by a dentist. At Core Dental Group, however, it is always administered by a specialist anaesthetist who is a qualified medical doctor with further specialised qualification in giving anaesthetics. This ensures both patient safety and effective sedation. The specialist anaesthetist monitors the patient throughout the procedure and brings them back to a wakeful state at the end of treatment.

What are its advantages?

There are three main reasons to choose sleep dentistry over a general anaesthetic:

  1. Safety: As intravenous sedation preserves reflexes such as coughing and gagging, your airway is more protected than during a general anaesthesia. Intravenous sedation administered by an anaesthetist ensures that you are closely monitored throughout the procedure by an appropriately qualified and experienced specialist.
  2. Peace of mind: During intravenous sedation you will be in a deeply relaxed state – much like a light sleep. You can rest assured that you will remember very little, if any, of the procedure.
  3. Affordability: Intravenous sedation is significantly more affordable than general anaesthesia, and Medicare cardholders can receive a rebate on the specialist anaesthetist’s fees. Furthermore, Core Dental Group offers an interest-free payment plan, meaning you can receive your sleep dentistry now and pay later.
  4. Availability:  Sedation dentistry is readily performed at Core Dental Wyndham for patients across all locations.