dreamstime_s_21012345Sedation dentistry is a safe and effective way for people who have dental anxiety to overcome their anxiety and get the dental procedures they need or want. However, some people are at risk from medications and doses that are safe for other people.

In an editorial in the current issue of the journal Anesthesia Progress, the editor notes that one of the common causes of sedation dentistry problems is sleep apnea, which is why you have to make sure you tell your dentist if you have the condition or have any of the common symptoms of the condition.

How Sleep Apnea Increases Sedation Risk

In sleep apnea, your breathing stops during sleep, forcing your brain to awaken to restore breathing. This can occur hundreds of times a night, though you may be unaware of it because you never achieved full consciousness or you may think you awoke for some other reason, such as having to go to the bathroom or because of a nightmare.

In the most common form of sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea, your airway closes during sleep, and your brain has to awaken to open the airway again. Unfortunately, people who have been sedated may have difficulty opening the airway.

Do You Have Sleep Apnea?

Perhaps the biggest problem with sleep apnea is that 80% or more of sufferers don’t actually know that they have it. With millions of undiagnosed sufferers around, it’s important that we take excess caution when considering your sleep apnea risk, so it’s not a bad idea to administer yourself the screening test we often use to determine a person’s sleep apnea risk, called the STOP-BANG test. Ask yourself these 8 questions:

  • Do you Snore?
  • Do you feel Tired or fatigued often during the day?
  • Has anyone Observed that you stop breathing during sleep?
  • Have you been diagnosed with high blood Pressure?
  • Do you have a BMI over 35?
  • Are you over the Age of 50?
  • Is your Neck circumference 16 inches or more?
  • Is your Gender male?

If you answer yes to three or more questions, you should talk to your doctor or a sleep dentist about sleep apnea before having any sedation dentistry procedure.

At B & D Dental Excellence, our primary focus is on ensuring the health and safety of our patients. If you are looking for dental care that prioritizes your health and safety, please call (845) 627-7645 for an appointment with Rockland County dentist Dr. Mark Dunayer.