Sleep Dentistry is considered when some dental patients can’t help but feel anxious when going to their dentist. It doesn’t matter what dental procedure is being performed, or what age or race the dental patient is.  This anxiety can be caused many things to include:

  • Their childhood dentist would continue to do a filling or pull a tooth when they could still feel it. They would protest to the dentist and they would be scolded. (They should stop when you raise your hands-IMMEDIATELY)
  • The shot hurt so much that they would not subject themselves to it again. (Should inject slowly and use topical anesthesia for 2 minutes)
  • They had their teeth pulled because their parents couldn’t afford it. (Financing)
  • They had a traumatic accident to the face and won’t allow anyone to come close to their face. (Working with a psychologist to work through the emotional pain and an empathetic dentist)
  • The dentist pulled the wrong tooth and didn’t listen to them as they protested. (Should never happen)
  • They don’t want to deal with being numb. (I will give the answer in next months column)
  • The smell of the dental office triggers the fear of childhood traumas.  (Don’t use these materials that produce those smells and use air purifiers.)
  • They hate the sound of the dentist’s drill. (use electric hand pieces and noise canceling headphones)
  • They don’t have the money or insurance for the dentist. (interest free financing)
  • They believed that the dentist just did the fillings even though they didn’t need them. (digital photography and digital x-rays to show and reason why the dental treatment is needed and justified)

Dental patients that experience anxiety are more at risk for developing periodontal disease and losing their teeth prematurely.

To combat dental anxiety, dentists commonly use a technique called Sedation Dentistry and/or Sleep Dentistry.  There are several degrees of Sedation and Sleep Dentistry depending on the level of anxiety the dental patient has.  They are:

  • Minimal Sleep Dentistry is typical used for simple dental procedures requiring very little time to complete.
  • Moderate Sleep Dentistry causes the dental patient to feel more calm and relaxed during the dental procedure.
  • Deep Sleep Dentistry is what a Michigan sleep dentist would use to make his dental patient actually fall asleep for more complicated dental procedures like root canals and dental implants.

A Michigan sleep dentist could use several techniques for sedating his dental patients:

  • oral sleep dentistry
  • inhalation sleep dentistry
  • intravenous sleep dentistry

Sleep dentistry, when done gently and correctly, can allow a high fear dental patient to experience a relaxing and stress-free visit to their dentist.  If you are looking for a Michigan Sedation Dentist in Macomb County or Oakland County, giver Dr. Robert Antolak’s dental office in Shelby Township, Michigan a call.   He is “The Gentle Dentist”.