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Treat Anxiety With Light Dental Sedation

From routine cleanings to surgical procedures, sedation plays a key role in any dental office. While anyone may need sedation depending on the procedure, sedation can be especially helpful in treating those with a higher-than-average level of dental anxiety.

The team at Nahel Yanni D.D.S. Family & Cosmetic Dentistry wants each of our patients to feel as comfortable as possible throughout their time in our office. When you come in for an everyday dental procedure, oral conscious sedation or laughing gas can be the solution to your concerns. Learn more about our sedation practices below.

What Is Light Sedation for Dental Work?

There are three levels of sedation dentistry:

  • Light sedation: The lightest form of sedation at our clinic is nitrous oxide, which most people know as laughing gas. The patient inhales the laughing gas and remains alert during the procedure, but calmer than usual to allow the dentist to complete the appointment with minimal pain and interruption. It wears off quickly and you should be back to normal minutes after your treatment.
  • Moderate sedation: Moderate sedation usually is administered through oral pills. Moderate sedation makes a patient even more relaxed and possibly unaware of their situation while the dentist completes their work. They will be awake but are unlikely to remember much of what happens while under the effects of the drug. It should wear off shortly following the treatment.
  • Deep sedation: This IV-administered sedation is generally reserved for the most invasive procedures or people with severe dental anxiety. With deep sedation, the patient may be nearly unconscious and won’t remember the majority of the procedure. While the patient will wake up within a few hours of administration, this sedation can take up to 24 hours to fully wear off. The patient should arrange to have someone else take them home and care for them following their appointment.

Throughout any level of sedation, your dentist will monitor you closely for any adverse reactions and reverse sedation immediately at any sign of distress. However, a situation like that is unlikely. You can usually expect to come in, receive sedation and enjoy your treatment more than ever before.

Who Can Benefit From Light Sedation for Dental Work?

In many cases, moderate or deep sedation can be too extreme for your everyday treatment needs. Light oral sedation is often the perfect fit for patients who:

  • Deal with mild dental anxiety
  • Have other dentist-related fears
  • Deal with teeth sensitivity or a strong gag reflex
  • Have a fear of needles, like the ones associated with deep sedation
  • Have trouble sitting still throughout longer procedures
  • Want to be conscious during the procedure and remember what’s happening

While you will remain awake and alert under nitrous oxide, you should feel a deep sense of calm that allows you to stay relaxed throughout your procedure. Unlike other forms of sedation, you’ll be able to fully communicate during treatment and remember what’s going on when you come out of sedation.

How to Prepare Before the Procedure

Since receiving nitrous oxide is the least invasive and time-consuming sedation method, it makes sense you don’t need to complete a lot of preparation for it, either. Laughing gas can cause nausea, so we advise you avoid eating too much within two hours of your appointment. However, you do not need to fast or stop drinking before your appointment in preparation.

We suggest all our patients come to their appointment in comfortable clothing and with any questions they have for their dentist regarding all aspects of their treatment. We’ll do our best to put you at ease and ensure you’re ready for your procedure.

What Will Happen During the Procedure?

When you arrive for your procedure at Nahel Yanni, D.D.S. Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, we’ll guide you to your appointment room and get started. We take care to answer any questions you have and ensure you’re as comfortable as possible before we get started. If we determine light sedation is necessary, we’ll retrieve the nitrous oxide and set it up for you.

Laughing gas is administered through an apparatus similar to an oxygen mask. You breathe it in orally. Almost immediately, you’ll begin drifting into conscious sedation. While sedated, things may seem funnier than usual or you may feel a bit disconnected from reality. This feeling is completely normal and what gives nitrous oxide its reputation as laughing gas. You should still have full control of your speech, decision making and other faculties.

Your dentist will monitor you throughout the procedure to ensure you’re staying relaxed and your vitals are stable. They may give you more or lessen your dosage depending on your reaction.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Once treatment is complete, the dentist will wean you off the laughing gas and you’ll return to normal within a few minutes. We may provide you with a dose of pure oxygen to help flush your system of the laughing gas. As you come out of oral conscious sedation, you may feel confused, nauseous, dizzy or drowsy for a bit, but these feelings will fade quickly.

Most patients are ready to get back to their day by the time they leave our clinic — you can drive yourself home and get back to anything your busy schedule has in store.

Experience a Painless Dentist Visit with Light Dental Sedation in East Brunswick

Dr. Nahel Yanni‘s East Brunswick practice puts your comfort and safety above all else. Every member of our staff knows that you’re what matters most, and we want your experience with us to reflect that. Dr. Yanni has worked with children and adults around the world as a Doctor of Dental Surgery (D.D.S.) since 1994. He’s learned the latest dentistry practices in Egypt, the U.S. and Uganda and nurtured affiliations with brands like the American Dental Association, the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, Progressive Orthodontics and Invisalign.

We use our expertise to prescribe the perfect level of sedation for any patient’s dental anxiety and procedure type. When you meet with Dr. Yanni, you’ll have his full focus so he can understand your needs and concerns and design the ideal treatment to fit them. Whether you’re in need of a root canal, cavity filling or regular cleaning, he knows how to guide you through the process with ease and as little pain as possible.

Sedation Dentistry Frequently Asked Questions

Many of our patients are unfamiliar with or have never undergone oral conscious sedation. We’ve provided some of the most common questions and answers our staff receives for your perusal.

What Are the Side Effects of Light Sedation Dentistry?

While all side effects are relatively minor, you may experience temporary:

  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Confusion or grogginess
  • Dry mouth

When Should I Contact a Health Care Professional Regarding Side Effects?

If your side effects last more than a few hours or are accompanied by a fever, shortness of breath or other symptoms of an allergic reaction, contact a health care professional immediately. However, know that reactions after treatment are exceedingly rare.

When Can I Start Driving Again After Light Sedation?

Oral conscious sedation is the only form of sedation light enough to allow you to drive within minutes of discharge. After treatment, wait about 15 to 20 minutes or however long it takes you to feel normal again. You should be able to drive yourself home or to the next place on your schedule following your appointment.

Is Light Sedation Suitable for Children?

Yes. Our team holds safety as our top priority and oral conscious sedation is suitable for most people, from young children to the elderly. Our licensed dental professionals will monitor you closely throughout treatment to ensure you stay safe and relaxed.

Can All Dentists Safely Administer Oral Conscious Sedation?

No. In New Jersey, dentists must complete 40 hours of university didactic training to qualify, then further maintain 20 hours of extra training every two years to maintain certification. Our office maintains these regulations for your maximum comfort.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Dr. Nahel Yanni and the rest of our staff are always ready to help you find comfort in pain-free, beautiful smiles. We’re focused on giving you the best dental experience possible. Light dental sedation is just one of our many tools that offer you the most pleasant experience you’ve ever had in a dentist’s office.

Our New Jersey clinic provides a one-stop shop for any of your dental requirements, and we’ll work with you to satisfy your needs through light sedation and more. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.