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Sedation Dentistry

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Sedation dentistry involves the safe, professional use of controlled substances to induce a state of calm and relaxation. When you’re calm and relaxed in the dentist office, this helps soothe any anxiety you may be feeling, and allows for a smoother dental procedure. Dr. Agamov offers three levels of sedation dentistry: nitrous oxide, oral, and IV.

What Can Be Done About Dental Anxiety?

Over 36 percent of the population suffers from dental anxiety. Dental anxiety is defined as fear, anxiety or stress associated with going to the dentist. This can be due to a number of reasons, such as prior bad experiences, the kinds of tools used in dentistry, or negative stereotypes attached to the dental profession.

While this fear is understandable, it can also be dangerous. Failing to see a dentist regularly increases your risk of developing oral health issues such as cavities, periodontal disease and more. If these issues continue to go unchecked, they can negatively affect not just your mouth, but the rest of your body as well.

Still, even if you know you need dental care, dental anxiety can be stopping you from getting it. Fortunately, at the office of Dr. Alla Agamov DMD, we can offer sedation dentistry services to help out patients who experience dental anxiety.

Nitrous Oxide Inhalation (Laughing Gas)

Nitrous oxide, commonly known as laughing gas, is one of the most well known and widely utilized forms of dental sedation. Nitrous oxide is a colorless, non-flammable gas that is inhaled before your procedure.

On top of producing an anesthetizing effect that eliminates pain, laughing gas is known to inspire feelings of giddiness and euphoria. Hence the nickname, ‘laughing gas’. Nitrous oxide inhalation may be a good option for you if:

  • You’ve proven resistant or allergic to other forms of sedation
  • You don’t like needles or pills
  • You want a sedative that acts fast and wears off quickly
  • You need to drive yourself home

Oral Sedation

Oral sedation comes in the form of a pill that you’ll take one hour before surgery. After an hour, the sedation will have taken effect and you’ll be ready for your procedure. Common substances used in oral sedation include Halcion, Ativan, and Midazolam.

Typically, the sedative itself does not produce an anesthetizing effect. In those cases, we may prescribe an anesthetic in the form of a pill to take alongside your sedative, or apply a local anesthetic once you arrive at the office. You may be a good candidate for oral sedation if:

  • You’ve proven resistant or allergic to other forms of sedation
  • You don’t like needles or gas
  • You have a ride home
  • You can take time off to recover

Intravenous Sedation (IV)

Intravenous or IV sedation, involves having the prescribed substance injected into your bloodstream at the dentist’s office. Common substances used for intravenous sedation include Midazolam, Ketamine, Propofol, and Dexmedetomidine. Some of these substances have an anesthetizing effect, while others are used alongside an anesthetic before certain dental procedures.

You may be a good candidate for IV sedation if:

  • You’ve proven resistant or allergic to other forms of sedation
  • You don’t like gas or pills
  • You have a ride home
  • You can take time off to recover

General Anesthesia

In cases where sedation is not enough, Dr. Agamov may prescribe general anesthesia. General anesthesia, unlike the other forms of sedation, involves completely suspending your consciousness for the duration of the procedure. General anesthesia usually involves a combination of inhaled and injected controlled substances like those listed above.

You may be a candidate for general anesthesia if:

  • Your procedure is expected to be very painful, long, and/or complex
  • You’ve proven resistant to regular sedation
  • You experience extreme levels of dental anxiety
  • You can take time off to recover
  • You have a ride home


How long does sedation and anesthesia last?

It depends. Some forms of sedation such as laughing gas, tend to wear off quickly. Other forms of sedation such as oral and IV, usually last anywhere from six to eight hours. General anesthesia can last an average 24 to 48 hours.

These time frames can vary based on factors such as:

  • Current medications
  • Existing allergies
  • Drug addiction and resistance
  • Family and personal history of sedation reaction

For these reasons, Dr. Agamov will discuss your sedation and anesthesia
options with you before either method is used. We know every patient is different, so we take a personalized approach to keep you safe and healthy when you’re undergoing a procedure that may require sedation or anesthesia.

Will sedation put me to sleep?

Some forms of sedation can make you drowsy and even make you fall asleep. In some cases, you may wake up from sedation and not even remember the procedure. Other forms of sedation, like oral conscious sedation tend to make you less aware, but allow you to remain awake.

Only general anesthesia will completely eliminate consciousness during a dental procedure. Your chances of falling and staying asleep during sedation depend on a number of factors, including your unique physiology.

If you would like a sedation option that allows you to sleep through your procedure, be sure to bring it up with Dr. Agamov during your consultation. She’ll review your medical history, listen to your concerns, and gather all the relevant information before deciding on the sedation method that works best for you.

Is sedation dentistry and general anesthesia safe?

Modern dental technology has allowed for the development of safer, more effective means of administering all forms of sedation and general anesthesia. To ensure your safety, these procedures should only be carried out by trained professionals like Dr. Agamov and her team. We’ll review your medical history, and ask about your overall health and dental anxieties beforehand to ensure that your experience at our office is as relaxing and as safe as possible.

Leave Dental Fear Behind With Sedation Dentistry

If your dental fear is stopping you from receiving the dental care you require, don’t wait for your oral health issues to develop any further. Seek help immediately.

Learn how sedation dentistry can keep you calm in the dentist’s office and help you maintain your overall health. Call the office of Dr. Alla Agamov in Sharon, MA or submit a contact form.

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