Dr. James C. DeFinnis's Dental Blog

Wilkes Barre Family Dentist Dr. James C. DeFinnis

Sedation Dentistry vs. Sleep Dentistry

For dentists, one of the hardest things to do is to keep patients still during dental procedures, especially patients that suffer from anxiety caused by visits to the dentist. Due to these difficulties, the use of sedatives in simple dental procedures has been increasing. This, in turn, has given rise to the term “sedation dentistry”. Today, almost every dental office offers patients the option of taking a sedative in order to ease their anxiety, resulting in a more efficient dental procedure.

Seeing as there are different sedatives available for the benefit of patients, a common question asked is “what is the difference between ‘sedation dentistry’ and ‘sleep dentistry’?” The fact that some people freely interchange the two words adds to the confusion. The simple answer would be that sedation dentistry would be the general method, while sleep dentistry is a type of sedation dentistry.

Another key difference is that sleep dentistry literally means that a patient undergoing the procedure will be unconscious due to the dosage of general anesthesia administered. Despite the seeming simplicity of this procedure, the presence of a certified anesthesiologist is a must due to the strength of the sedative in use. General anesthesia is a tricky sedative to use and certain complications can arise due to the unconscious state of the patient. Because of these factors, sleep dentistry is used as a “last resort” sedation method for dental patients.


September 12, 2013 - Posted by | Back Mountain Dental, General Dentistry, Oral Hygiene, Sedation Dentistry | , ,

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