Fear of Being Awake during Dental Treatment

“My real wishes are to just be knocked out cold.”

“i really just don’t want to be awake, that’s what terrifies me.”

“I am scared of being awake or hearing what’s going on”

Many people with a dental phobia, when thinking about their ideal dentist visit, come up with a scenario along the following lines: be knocked out cold at home before being whisked away and having all problems fixed, and wake up later in your own bed.

For some of us, the reasoning behind this “ideal solution” has more to do with wanting to avoid the initial encounter with a dentist and all that might entail (the embarrassment over the state of your teeth, “the lecture”, hearing the bad news, and so on). If this applies to you, then you may find your fear of being awake diminish or disappear once you find a kind and caring dentist who is right for you.

Fear of Being Awake during dental procedures

For others, the fear of being awake during dental procedures is a very specific fear. You “just know”, deep down, that you cannot tolerate any treatment while being awake. Or you may know that you can’t handle being awake during a specific procedure, such as tooth removal, but you’re okay with other dental procedures.

If that’s the case, you may be interested in IV sedation. IV sedation has largely replaced general anaesthesia. It is an extremely safe and effective method.

In the UK, IV sedation is offered by some NHS dentists, but it is much more widely available privately. If you cannot afford private treatment, in many areas, you can also get a referral from either a dentist or GP (or health visitor) to the Community Dental Service, which usually can offer IV sedation. There may be waiting lists involved, though.

For more information, visit our IV sedation page.