Sleep Dentistry (IV Sedation)

Sleep Dentistry is available to make your dental visit comfortable and relaxing during removal of wisdom teeth and long complete dental procedures. This is an intravenous sedation using a combination of sedative and strong pain relieving medications administered by our visiting qualified anaesthetist to create a drowsy and dreamlike state of deep relaxation or sleep.

Sleep Dentistry (Intravenous Sedation) is beneficial for people who:

  • Hate needles in the mouth
  • Have a low pain threshold
  • Have difficulty getting numb
  • Have a strong gag reflex and gag easily
  • Have very sensitive teeth or gums
  • Hate the noises, smells, tastes and pain of dental treatment
  • Have had traumatic experiences with dentistry in the past
  • Have jaw problems or have difficulty keeping their mouth open
  • Have complex dental problems or need long sessions or surgery
  • Are busy and wish to have more work done in fewer sessions

New research is also beginning to show that poor dental health may also contribute to other major health problems, such as cardiovascular disease. It is therefore very important that your dental health be improved to optimal standards to enjoy higher levels of general health.

What can sleep dentistry do for you?

  • eliminates the awareness, sights, sounds, smells, tastes and pain of needles, instruments and drilling. It also eliminates the boredom of long or complex sessions and enables you to relax.
  • eliminates fears, anxiety and discomfort and makes the dental experience enjoyable.
  • enables busy people to have multiple procedures and long sessions some in a single sitting.
  • allows your dental procedures to be more comfortable than you ever thought possible.
  • enables you to receive the dental care you need.

What to do before you arrive

There are 4 basic and simple things you need to do prior to arriving on the day of your appointment. Each one is required for a specific reason and it is very important that you follow these instructions exactly:

FASTING: Please ensure that you have nothing to eat for 6 hours before your scheduled appointment. This includes lollies and chewing gum and milk (even in coffee and tea). Do not have anything to drink for two hours before your appointment (not even water). If your appointment is in the morning, this may mean nothing to eat or drink from midnight the night before. If you have an afternoon appointment it may be OK to have a small snack or meal beforehand but you must finish it no less than 6 hours prior to your treatment. If in doubt, DON’T EAT! If you are not properly fasted, your appointment may have to be rescheduled.

MEDICATIONS: It is important to take your usual medications at the time you would normally take them – even if this is within the fasting period. In this case, a small sip of water to swallow your pills is permissible. The main (and very important) exception to this is if you are diabetic – generally speaking, you must not take your insulin, or diabetic pills if you are intending to not eat and drink. If this applies to your situation, we recommend that you talk to our Sedationist about this beforehand so that a plan may be worked out for your medications before and after sedation. Most other medicines can and should be taken. If you have any doubts or concerns about this please contact our surgery.

LOOSE COMFORTABLE CLOTHING: Please wear comfortable clothing – most dental treatments are prolonged. You should wear short sleeves, or else sleeves that can be loosely rolled all the way up your arm. This is to allow a blood pressure cuff to be fitted to your upper arm on one side, and a tourniquet to be applied to the other side so that a cannula can be placed. You should not wear one-piece outfits – sometimes an adhesive patch needs to be placed on the side of your rib cage under your shirt or blouse. Don’t worry about being cold – you will be covered by a heat-preserving space blanket during the procedure to keep you warm and comfortable.

GETTING HOME: After the procedure is finished you will have a brief recovery period after which you can go straight home. You must be accompanied home by a responsible adult. Under no circumstances will you be able to drive home from the dentist – or for the rest of the day. You cannot walk home (even if it is close) nor can you go by bus. It is permissible to go home by taxi, but even then only in the company of a responsible adult friend or relative (not the taxi driver!) If you have not made arrangements to be accompanied home, your procedure may have to be rescheduled.

To discuss your dental options and comfort, please contact us.


Call (02) 9211 2388