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What to expect from dental sedation

male dentist talking to a patient sitting in dentist chair

The appeal of sleep dentistry? You sleep, we treat.

If you feel unease, anxiety or downright dread in the lead up to a dentist visit you are not alone. In fact, one in six patients suffer from dental fear. Such fear may feel hard to shake, but thanks to advanced sedation techniques, like sleep dentistry, the options for treatments are better than ever.

The trigger for dental fear is often the result of a poor experience as a child, or an unbearably painful procedure. For some, a dental drill, sharp instrument, or the mere thought of a tooth extraction is enough to not only make us feel woozy, but to choose ongoing pain over treatment.

At The Point Dental in Melbourne, our highly specialised dental fear experts, are masters in helping people overcome dental fear. Whether it’s an invasive procedure or a simple teeth cleaning, sedation dentistry allows treatment in a relaxed and pain-free environment.

What are the different types of dental sedation?

woman receiving inhalation sedation at dentist clinic

For fearful patients, the usual numbing agents for dental work just don’t cut it. If you can’t stand the pain associated with getting a checkup, then dental sedation will be an enormous relief. Many consider sedation and sleep dentistry a game changer, as it offers an entirely different experience during dental work.

The common dental sedation techniques include:

  • Sleep dentistry via general anaesthesia or IV (twilight) sedation, which is milder than a full anaesthetic
  • Laughing gas or nitrous oxide
  • Oral sedation pill or liquid

The type of sedation you opt for will depend on the type and severity of your fear, and the dental work required. For example, do you need to spend a lot of time in the chair? Will the treatment be particularly complicated? IV sedation is perfect because the dose can be adjusted depending on how long the treatment will take.

What should I expect from sleep dentistry?

Sleep dentistry is the most advanced form of sedation dentistry and a popular option for both children and adults. The reason it’s popular is simple — you won’t feel or remember a thing. However, if you are considering sleep dentistry, it helps to know what to expect before, during and after the procedure.


  • Preliminary appointment to discuss your dental fear (or anxiety or phobia)
  • Your medical history is recorded by a dental sedation specialist and they’ll let you know your options for sedation
  • Costs for sleep dentistry are fully disclosed prior to treatment
  • Sleep dentistry is carried out onsite in our state-of-the-art clinic — no need to attend hospital


  • Sleep dentistry under general anaesthetic means you do not see, hear, or feel anything as you are completely unconscious
  • The length of time you are sedated for will vary depending on the dental work that is required


  • When the procedure is complete, the anaesthesiologist reverses the medication to wake you up
  • After sleep dentistry and general anaesthetic, people tend to feel groggy and a little confused — further pain relief medication may be required
  • You will need to be accompanied by another adult to and from the dental surgery for your treatment, to ensure your safety

Which dental procedures can be done with sedation?

dentist cleaning a man's teeth

Avoiding or delaying dental treatment can lead to serious oral health and overall health consequences. Our aim is to help you avoid this, and sedation is a wonderfully successful method of calming even the most extreme dental phobias.

Sleep dentistry is used for a variety of procedures including:

  • Wisdom teeth removal
  • Root canal treatment
  • Gum treatment
  • Dentures
  • Dental implants
  • Cosmetic dentistry
  • All on 4 implants

Whether you have minor, major or preventative work to be done, sedation techniques are available. Talk to us about your concerns, and we’ll help you explore the options.

Does private health insurance cover dental sedation?

The costs of sleep dentistry are surprisingly affordable, and the general consensus from patients is that the benefits are worthwhile. A significant part of the fee for dental sedation is covered by Medicare. We can also set up interest free finance options for clients so no one has to break the bank for their dental procedure.

Also, if you have private health insurance major treatments and procedures will often be covered, and even sedation for smaller check-ups may be included in your general cover of extras. It’s important to check with your specific provider to confirm whether sedation during dentistry is covered.

Book an appointment and find out more about sleep dentistry

Take the first step to combat your dental fear and call us at The Point Dental to explore your options for sleep dentistry and dental sedation. Whether you’re in Melbourne, or nearby areas, our dedicated practitioners are leaders in the fields of dental fear and sleep dentistry, so you know you’re in safe hands.