Sleep dentistry also known as sedation dentistry uses an anesthetic to make patients feel comfortable and put them in a relaxed state that is like falling sleeping. Typically an anesthetic is needed for patients that are going to be sitting in the dentist chair for long periods of time or extensive work. Many people also have a phobia of dentists and using a sedative will decrease patient's anxiety issues and put them in a sleep-like state. It's important to note that not all anesthetics are used to make patients unconscious; some are simply used to make the patient's anxiety go away – not go to sleep.

Sleep dentists are professionals in their field; they have a lot of experience with patients that have varied levels of anxiety and phobia's towards them. They are familiar with all kinds of sedation techniques so it should come as no surprise that your dentist will be able to determine what level of sedation is best for you. When seeking a dentist to suit your needs you should look for a dentist that was trained and is involved with the American Academy of Sleep Dentistry, as these are dentists that are highly certified to work on you.

There are sleep dentistry professionals that can also help with sleep apnea issues. What is sleep apnea? Sleep apnea is a loss of breathe or a gap in breathing while you are in an unconscious state; sleeping. Many times someone with sleep apnea does not even know they have it; it takes an outside source to tell them they have it.

It may seem a little strange that a dentist can help with sleep apnea but here is why. Sleep apnea occurs in the airways inside your body and the symptoms are shown through the mouth. It would make sense that a dentist could prevent sleep apnea from occurring since they are the ones that know the most about your mouth which is where the symptoms are shown, and can be fixed.

Sleep apnea dentists can remedy your sleep apnea situation by creating an oral fixture, usually a type of mouthpiece that will force your airways to remain open while you sleep. The dentist will create a mold of your teeth and then create a special mouthpiece, using silicone or plastic, specifically designed for your use which will prevent your muscles and soft tissues from drooping while sleeping.