Both the terms Sleep Dentistry and Anaesthetist are something with which most people might probably not be familiar. It’s not something you hear or read about every day. So, this article will inform the reader about both of these terms as well as their connection with each other.
What is Sleep Dentistry?
It is a method of relaxing the patient and blocking pain through the administration of certain medication during dental procedures, whether fixing smiles or improving people’s oral hygiene. Sedation dentistry is another term for this procedure used by dentists. In this case, the dentist administers anaesthesia to induce a relaxed state. Some patients even fall asleep during the procedure due to this. Sedation levels range from completely awake but relaxed to completely unconscious. The level is primarily determined by the type of dental procedure being performed.
Laughing gas and some oral pills cause mild sedation that relaxes the patient but quickly wears off. Other forms of oral sedation can make patients moderately sedated, causing drowsiness and even inducing light sleep, as mentioned previously. Deep sedation requires intra-venous drug administration. This can also induce general anaesthesia, during which a patient is rendered unconscious. This is a temporary state and it is only needed for complex procedures.
Who is an Anaesthetist?
The term Anaesthetist is used to refer to medical professionals who deal with the administration of anesthesia to patients and monitor their vitals while they undergo surgery. They are licensed physicians with a specialization in anesthesiology, which is a branch of medical science that deals with anesthesia, pain management, and intensive care. In order to become a Specialist Anaesthetist, a person needs to have a medical degree with one year of residency and 5 years of specialized training in the hospital.
They provide care to the patients before and after the medical procedure is complete. However, they do not provide general care, which is the job of the assisting nurses. Surgeries can be extremely painful, and without an anesthetist to administer anesthesia, the patient cannot undergo such a procedure.
Need for an Anaesthetist
Usually, Sleep Dentistry can be performed on a patient by the Dentist without requiring an Anaesthetist but the administration of General Anaesthesia should be carried out by a professional trained for this very purpose. It also requires the use of special equipment that only the professional can handle. It reduces the chances of any complications arising while the patient is undergoing the procedure.
Since General Anaesthesia causes a person to be unconscious, they need outside assistance to be able to breathe as they are not able to do so on their own. Either the mask used for inhalation of anaesthetic gases is used for breathing or the Anaesthetist gives muscle relaxants to the patient and then inserts a tube down their throat to get appropriate amounts of oxygen to the lungs and protect them from stomach fluids or blood.
A dental practice usually does require an Anaesthetist’s assistance but in some cases, like administering general anaesthesia to patients during Sleep Dentistry, it becomes necessary to take the professional’s help.