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My dentist offered me IV sedation but I am still terrified – help?

Dr Jennifer – I have an appointment to see a dentist for the 1st time in 30 years on Thursday. I am off the scale phobic, terrified and at the very least have to have root canal treatment. I have spoken to him – through a haze of tears, panic, shaking and diazipam and he has said he will give me IV sedation but told me I will be conscious and will be able to respond to requests from him. I can’t see how this will work – if I can hear, see and smell my surroundings I won’t cope. I have read about conscious sedation but feel terrified that even though after I will ‘forget’ after the event, during the procedure I will be aware. Please, please help – I can’t sleep, am losing weight and feel completely unable to cope. I am on the point of cancelling but my teeth problems are now seriously affecting my health. Please help me.
Thank you.

Its wednesday evening , I hope that you manage to have the courage to go to the appointment you’ve made .
You will find out exactly what treatment you need then .
Iv sedation comes in two ways . The first is to have intravenous midazolam ( Hypnovel ) thats what many dentists who give it themselves do . Its good for procedures which last about 1-2 hours .
You will be in an altered state of consciousness which is not fully unconscious , so that it remains safe . However in this state of sedation you will not be aware of what is happening , and will not remember when you are finished .
The second type of IV sedation is given by dentists with advanced training or by an anesthetist . This uses a cocktail of drugs and the doses are matched to each patients needs to maintain a continuous state of sedation .
The majority of patients find this very suitable , and are able to get their treatment done .
If it turns out that you need an extraction then it might be possible for the dentist to refer you to a hospital for a full general anesthetic .
During sedation you will be given local anesthetics to get the same level of good numbness that you would have if your fully conscious .

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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