Sleep Dentistry: Oral Sedation
Some patients are quite anxious about getting dental work done. There are numerous reasons why this occurs. One of the most common reasons why patients are particularly anxious about getting dental work done is because of a poor experience caused by a dentist. This is very disappointing. How can it be that dentists can be our own worst enemy?
To assist patients with this anxiety, we can discuss with the patient in a comfortable manner the reasons for the anxiety to some degree. This allows us to be able to manage our patient’s care better. We do care very much in providing a wonderful experience. We do want to care for our patients in a manner which demonstrates how we ourselves would want to be treated.
After discussing the anxiety and the patient’s medical history, we can then prescribe a medication that can alleviate the anxiety. The most common medications used are basically sleeping pills; hence, the name “sleep dentistry” was coined. By taking the medication the night prior to the appointment, about an hour prior to the appointment, and perhaps even during the appointment, anxiety can be very well managed. Patients can relax very easily, patients can sleep or can mentally remove themselves from the dental office, and patients can have a very good dental experience.
With good experiences created with sleep dentistry, it is not at all uncommon for patients to refuse the medication after several appointments. The reason for that is patients begin to believe that there is not much about our appointments that would create the anxiety they had anticipated. Moreover, without the medication patients are not as drowsy following the appointment. In addition, without the medication patients can drive themselves to and from the dental appointments.
Sleep dentistry has many benefits. If we can assist you or someone you know with sleep dentistry please let us know. Feel free to contact us today.
Sleep Apnea and Snoring
Many of us know someone who snores or who may have sleep apnea. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea may include awaking all of a sudden and gasping for breath, never feeling fully rested after sleep, waking with a dry or sore throat, sleepiness during the day, restless sleep, morning headaches, forgetfulness, or mood changes (WebMD).
The most common patients who are at risk of sleep apnea include those who are over 40 years old, are overweight, have an anatomical abnormality which limits the size of the throat’s airway, those who have a family history of sleep apnea, or those who have a nasal obstruction (ADA). So, this is not just a problem for older, overweight men. This problem may also occur with young children and with young, physically fit females.
If left untreated, sleep apnea may lead to high blood pressure, heart failure, an irregular heartbeat, a heart attack, diabetes, depression, or it may lead to the worsening of ADHD symptoms (ADA).
Treatment for sleep apnea includes not sleeping on the back, a CPAP machine, a custom oral appliance that dentists may provide, and surgery (ADA). In the state of Texas, a physician’s examination is required to determine a diagnosis of sleep apnea. Once the diagnosis of sleep apnea is obtained, a prescription from the doctor is needed in order to make the oral appliance. If sleep apnea has been ruled out, a prescription is not needed.
If you are interested in an oral appliance for sleep apnea or for snoring, we invite you to contact us at (972) 250-2580. If you want to know more about us, we invite you to follow this link. If you are interested in viewing our certified online patient reviews, we invite you to follow this link.
We thank you for your interest.