We all know at least one person who is absolutely petrified of the dentist – it might even be you! Whether the fear is of needles, the drills or the whole dentist experience, there is an option to help you relax through your dental visit.
Sedation dentistry refers to the use of medication to ‘sedate’ patients during their dental visit, allowing them to relax throughout a procedure.
While sedation dentistry is a valuable tool to a dentist in order to relax a patient, not all dentists are qualified to conduct sedation dentistry. There are many factors involved in administering effective sedation to a patient and it is vital to ensure that you choose a dentist who is qualified – like Pitt Street Dental Centre.
What Does Sedation Dentistry Involve?
Although sedation dentistry is often referred to as ‘sleep dentistry,’ most sedation dentistry involves the patient undergoing a procedure while they are awake and conscious.
There are different levels of sedation dentistry, which include:
Patients are awake, but relaxed overall. They can respond to questions and stimuli from the dentist. This type of sedation is generally administered by breathing nitrous oxide, more commonly known as “laughing gas.”
A patient may feel a little gluggy, slur their words and be unable to remember parts, if not all, of the procedure. Moderate sedation is often achieved through oral sedation, using a pill to make you drowsy, or via IV.
Patients are not easily awakened, drifting on the edge of consciousness.
A patient is unconscious and is unable to be awakened, even by painful stimuli.
Benefits of Sedation Dentistry
People who are terrified of the dentist are more likely to avoid booking an appointment, even if they’re overdue for a check up or they are experiencing mouth pain.
Sedation dentistry is used by our dentists in Sydney CBD to help patients overcome the fear and anxiety that may be associated with visiting the dentist, allowing patients to feel relaxed and comfortable while our dentists undertake the required procedure.
While typically anxious and fearful patients are sedated, the dentist is able to work faster and more accurately, getting the procedure over and done with much quicker.
Who Can Benefit from Sedation Dentistry?
Although people with “dentophobia” – a fear of the dentist – are the main beneficiaries of sedation dentistry, it can also be a beneficial practise on other patients.
Patients who experience a low pain threshold, have a fear of needles or a strong gag reflex, suffer from anxiety, require multiple or complex treatments in one session or experience other medical conditions, such as autism, are all ideal candidates for sedation dentistry.
What Does it Take to be a Sedation Dentist?
Due to the risks associated with conscious sedation, such as potential unintended loss of consciousness, the Australian Dental Association is strict on who is allowed to perform “conscious sedation” on a patient.
Under the Australian Dental Association guidelines, “only dentists who have been endorsed by the Dental Board of Australia should practise conscious sedation,” while ”a dentist “must not carry out any procedure forming part of the practice of dentistry on a patient under general anaesthetic unless the general anaesthetic is administered by an appropriately qualified registered medical practitioner.”
To perform sedation dentistry, there must be an appropriately trained medical or dental practitioner present, who is responsible for the administration of the sedative. This person must be a:
- A dentist who has completed relevant postgraduate training
- A medical practitioner with formal training at least equivalent to the Graduate Diploma in Clinical Dentistry (Conscious Sedation and Pain Control) from the University of Sydney, or training in accordance with ANZCA current professional requirements, or
- A registered anaesthetist
The team at Pitt Street Dental Centre are qualified to perform sedation dentistry, so our patients can rest assured they are in the safest of hands. As a Sydney city dentist, we’re even close enough for you to visit on a lunch break!
Manage Your Dental Experience
At Pitt Street Dental Centre, our team are on hand to help you have the best experience with a dentist in the Sydney CBD. Say goodbye to your crippling fear of dentists and hello to dental work that can be done while you are sedated.
Whether you have a low pain threshold, a fear of needles or experience anxiety, our team offer a range of modern sedation dentistry options to suit all our patients needs.
Don’t put off your dental visit any longer – contact Pitt Street Dental Centre today to find out why we’re one of the top dentists in Sydney CBD offering sedation dentistry.