Sleep dentistry is when you undergo dental treatment while under general anesthesia. This is different from conscious sedation, in which a patient remains awake but relaxes enough so treatment can be performed. With sleep dentistry, the patient falls asleep and remains unconscious throughout the procedure. This is helpful because it allows your dentist to perform multiple treatments at once and they don’t have to worry about their patient becoming restless or anxious during a complex procedure. For patients with anxiety about the dentist, this can also be an excellent option because it makes visiting the dentist as relaxing as possible. Sleep dentistry can also be used for patients who have major dental problems that require multiple treatments to be completed.
While the term “sleep dentistry” seems like it could be a contradiction in terms, it describes certain procedures that are performed in the dentist’s office while you sleep. These procedures can include anything from dental crowns and fillings to tooth extractions. Many patients find that their visits to the dentist are much less painful and stressful if they come in during a time of sedation. Some dentists offer both nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation as options for their patients.