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Sleep Dentistry


Be at Peace Knowing that You’re in the Best Hands while You Dream Away

Sleep Dentistry for Anxious Patients and How Sedation Could be the Answer to Your Dental Woes

Anxiety amongst dental patients can prove to be a daunting challenge. Dealing with anxiety can be tough for everyone involved. It often leads to unnecessary stress or even to people not showing up for dental appointments at all.

What people don’t realise is how crucial it is to deal with dental problems right away. By delaying or ignoring intervention, we risk greater problems which can affect the health, wellness, speech, confidence, mental health and overall well-being of a person.

Dental anxiety affects many Australians today. Studies by Oral-B show that eight out of ten Australians admit to having some level of anxiety when visiting the dentist. With the anxiety comes a level of unneeded discomfort. It also brings serious risks of error caused by panic during procedures.

Dental decay is also now more prevalent among Australian children with more than half of six-year-old Australians suffering from some form of tooth decay. And getting children to dental visits can be a real challenge at any time.Anxiety can be a real issue, but it’s an issue that can be alleviated with the right solutions. One of the most common and readily available solutions today is sleep dentistry. 

What is Sleep Dentistry?

Sleep Dentistry is the process of performing dental procedures while the patient is induced with general anesthesia, causing a patient to “sleep” while going through the process. This allows for minimal discomfort dentistry giving patients the peace of mind necessary to bring them through the whole process.

Under the influence of General Anesthesia (GA), patients are brought under a state of extreme calm which can even lead to no memory of any part of the procedure whatsoever. General Anesthesia brings relaxation to the body’s nerve systems making patients oblivious to pain receptors for a given amount of time.

You can stop avoiding the dentist once and for all and get back on track on your road to oral health.

The Numbers Don’t Lie

Statistics show that more and more patients prefer “sleeping” during dental procedures. There also seems to be an increase in preference once the procedure becomes more major. Here are a few numbers to look at.

7.2% of patients prefer sedation for cleaning procedures. 18% of patients prefer sedation for fillings or crowns 54.7% of patients prefer sedation for endodontics 68.2%  of patients prefer sedation for periodontal surgery 46.5% of patients prefer sedation for tooth extraction.

Source: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15859442

A great number of patients prefer to be heavily sedated in dental surgeries. And with the technologies we provide here in Melbourne at Dental Boutique, we can provide you with the steps necessary to relieve you of any anxiety-induced stress or risks associated with such fears.

Oral medication – valium or a sedative – will take the edge off.

Dr Peter Alldritt

Chairman , Australian Dental Association's oral health committee

Who Needs Sleep Dentistry?

Sleep dentistry exists to serve the purpose of specific individuals. The following people can greatly benefit from it:


Patients dealing with anxieties and fears towards dental procedures.

When you’re faced with a fear of dentists, the best way to get through the process is to get through it with sleep dentistry. There’s nothing to be afraid of when you’re relaxed and calmed for the procedure.


Patients with traumatic past experiences.

You might have had a bad experience with previous dental procedures. While our goal at Dental Boutique is to be as excellent as possible when it comes to our dental practice, we understand that some traumas do not leave overnight. We use sleep dentistry to set aside that trauma for the time being.

Patients with general anxiety disorders.

Maybe you don’t have a fear of dentists. Maybe it’s a fear of needles, of the sound of a drill, or maybe just a general anxiety disorder. We completely understand and we’ll find a way to make you feel comfortable.

Patients with low tolerance for pain.

Some patients have very sensitive oral nerve endings. If that’s you then a certain level of sleep dentistry can prove to be extremely helpful.

Patients with resistance to local anesthetics.

Yes, we know local anesthetics don’t work for some. We can provide you with something more potent.

Patients with small mouths.

People with small mouths can often tire from keeping their mouth open through a long procedure. Sleep dentistry can ease that discomfort for you.

Is Sedation Beneficial For You?

Determining the source of your anxiety and how you best cope can help you determine if sleep dentistry will work for you or if any sedation type might work best. There are sleep dentistry methods, for instance, that come through IV insertions, so that won’t be the best for people who are afraid of needles.

If you want to learn more about sleep dentistry, the side effects and the costs, you can speak with us at any point. We’d love to help guide you through your dental journey.

Alternatives to Sleep Dentistry

At Dental Boutique, we have invested time and resources to grow our knowledge and expertise in the best sedation procedures that will work for any patient who needs it. Here are a few other alternatives to sleep dentistry that we also have available:

Relaxation Techniques

There are different relaxation techniques that will be able to help you get through your anxiety problems on the dental chair. We love teaching these techniques to anyone who wants to learn and apply them.

The simplest of the techniques is controlled breathing. By breathing well and right, you feel more relaxed and calm when the fear starts to set in. Another alternative is listening to music. We provide our patients with headsets that can allow them to take their mind off things as we do our work.

Gas Inhalation

Gas inhalation can help you relax through the process. It relieves you of fear and anxiety while still being able to respond and to be in control during the procedure. After the procedure is done, the effects of gas dissipates quite quickly and leaves no traces or side effects.

Minimal Discomfort and Needleless Injection

Advances in technology has brought sedation to the next level. We also carry an option for patients to be sedated through a needleless and minimal discomfort injection.The needleless solution is made of small, lightweight, spring-operated device that delivers anaesthetic into the gum as an extremely fine jet of liquid in a fraction of a second.

We also have in our facilities a technology that controls the flow of anesthetic via a computer program, making the flow of anesthetics more steady and making the procedure more comfortable.

Creating Fail-safe Signals

Some patients want to be up and alert during procedures to ensure they have full control over everything. With this, we usually create fail-safe signals that our patients can use whenever things don’t go the way they would want them to. These signals can be as simple as raising one’s hand once in discomfort.

IV Sedation

Intravenous or IV sedation is another procedure that allows you to be awake during the procedure. However, due to its potency there’s a chance you will not be able to recall certain things that may have occurred during the procedure. The effects come in quickly and we can and often do set the dosage to meet the patient’s tailored needs.

How Much Does Sleep Dentistry Cost?

At Dental Boutique, we collaborate with our in-house Specialist Anesthetist. The fees outlined below are rebatable through your private health fund and Medicare. Once you’ve lodged your claim with Medicare, the amount will be paid into your account within 48 hours. However, please confirm this with Medicare for certainty.


2 hours or less
Fee structure

Facility fee $650

1st hour $700

30 minute increment after $350

Medicare Rebate
30% of amount up to $2000
Over 3 hours of treatment
Fee structure

No facility fee charged

Fixed fee of $6000

This is regardless of length of time (ie. does not matter if it is 3,4,5 or 6 hours or longer)

Medicare Rebate

First $2000 (30% rebate)

Remaining $4000 (80% rebate)

If you have reached your safety net threshold of $2000 with Medicare, the entire $6000 could be rebatable at 80%. This is determined solely by Medicare.

Have a Look at Some of Our Work

We have transformed thousands of smiles and improved the confidence of countless patients

Frequently Asked Questions

How much longer might a particular treatment take because sleep dentistry is involved?

Because there is no need to pause and worry so much, we can actually save time instead of lose it through sleep dentistry.

Is there a gender difference between people who prefer sleep dentistry, or also an age difference?

There are no gender or age differences amongst our clients that prefer or do not prefer sleep dentistry. Everyone is a unique case. We’ve had people from all walks of life and various ages and groups request for sleep dentistry.

Can children also opt to have sleep dentistry, and do they need parental authority?

Yes, children can opt to have sleep dentistry, but we do need the consent of a parent or legal guardian to do so.

Is there any risk of side-effects of the anaesthetic, and what precautions do you take to mitigate the risks?

Gas has little to no side effects. But general anesthetics used in sleep dentistry can have some side effects. This might include temporary confusion, dizziness, difficulty passing urine, nausea or shivering. These effects, however, if present, are only temporary.

There might be some more permanent effects on special cases, which we would like to know about before giving you sedatives. These cases include heart problems, brain function problems (such as memory problems caused by Alzheimers), diet considerations, medical history and so on.

Is sleep dentistry growing as a preference? If so, how many are you typically doing year-on-year?

Sleep dentistry has in fact been growing in popularity. While we have no database of how many people in Australia or in the world choose sleep dentistry, there is definitely a large number. Locally, we have dozens of patients come in in a given period of time who opt for sleep dentistry.

Can people have sleep dentistry repeatedly over many dental procedures over many years, or is there a risk in the same way repeated concussion can cause brain damage?

It is possible to have multiple procedures with sedation, but we do try to limit it. Sedation is a highly helpful procedure, but it’s not one that we want to overuse.

When people wake up from the anaesthetic, how long do they need to stay around at the clinic before they can leave or drive again?

We recommend staying in for another hour or so to completely let the effects of general anesthesia wear off. If you have someone who can drive for you after the operation, it would be more preferred to have them drive instead of the patient.

What are the main types of dental anxiety people usually suffer from?

Dental anxiety is often the cause of three other root fears – fear of being embarrassed, fear of not being in control or fear of pain. The environment we have built in Dental Boutique allows for those fears to dissipate. We try to build a non-judgmental zone where people can feel safe. We allow our patients to have as much control as they want through the procedure.

If a patient has a fear of needles, is there a different way for the anaesthetic to be administered?

Dental Boutique has invested into Minimal discomfort and Needleless Injection technologies that allow for the administration of anesthetics in a minimal discomfort and needleless manner.

Does sleep dentistry make dental work a bit easier for the dentist?

It does help the dentist when the patient is at ease.

Does sleep dentistry enable the procedure to be more gentle for the patient, or is the opposite the case?

Most times, it allows dentists to move without fear of startling or worrying the patient and that helps a whole lot.

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