My dentist offered me IV sedation but I am still terrified – help?
18th August 2011

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.

A. Hi 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 . Jenny

Dental Phobia

Dr Jennifer Pinder

Bupa Dental Centre 77 Cornhill, London, EC3V 3QQ

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