• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is has a severe fear of the dentist or dental treatment. Please note that this is NOT a general dental problems or health anxiety forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

All 4 Wisdom Teeth Removed Under Light IV Conscious Sedation



Junior member
Jul 13, 2023
Hello everyone! I've been lurking this forum for the last couple months, reading story after story of people's experiences with their wisdom teeth extractions and IV sedation. I want to thank every single author for giving me the courage to go through with my procedure.

My wisdom teeth first erupted ~5 years ago, and I opted to avoid the dentist for as long as possible out of fear. During that time, I dealt with a wide array of issues: teething pain, bleeding gums, teeth grinding, infections, jaw swelling/pain. If anything drove me nuts, it was the daily struggle of having an unaligned bite. Chewing food was a challenge and I was always biting the inside of my mouth. At some point, I had had enough and made the decision to schedule my extraction.

Leading up to the procedure, my biggest fear was the IV sedation. I have control issues; the idea of losing control over my thoughts and actions is terrifying to me. I was extremely afraid that my severe medical anxiety combined with the sedation would trigger a panic attack. I also had anxiety over the possibility of having an allergic reaction, a heart attack, a stroke, or any sort of adverse reaction as this was my very first experience with any sort of sedation or anesthetic. I communicated my concerns to my dentist and she reassured me that IV sedation was the way to go and that she would tailor the dosage to my liking.

Fast forward to this morning, I get taken back to room and sit in one of those reclined dentist chairs. There were 4 people in the room: the dentist, a nurse assisting with the procedure, another nurse whose sole job is to monitor my vitals, and a nurse-in-training shadowing the vitals nurse. They got started right away by putting that plastic tube under my nose (no worries there, it doesn't really go up your nose but just sits there directly underneath), and get me hooked up to the vitals monitors. The dentist poked my hand for the IV, couldn't get a vein, and opted for the arm instead. If you're not a fan of needles, let me say this is the easiest, smallest poke. You barely feel it, and it sits comfortably in you throughout the procedure.

Onto the moment of truth, the sedation. My dentist worked with me and allowed me to get a light dose of the sedation, just enough for me to feel the effects without feeling extremely intoxicated. I vividly remember most of the procedure and was in control of my actions and speech at all times. This may not be to everyone's liking, but this was ideal for me.

I remember my arm feeling slightly cold when the sedation fluid (fentanyl) went in. There was no dizziness, sense of being drunk or high, nothing like that. I just felt all of my anxiety disappear, all of a sudden I was enjoying talking to the nurses and excited for the procedure. I was very relaxed and feeling good, the sensation was comparable to enjoying a nice lazy Saturday on the couch. It was just SO casual, not intense at all.

From that point forward, I remember a majority of the procedure. They numbed my gums with some strong tasting, minty gel and injected the local anesthetic into my gums. I recall very minor pain, barely any worse than the IV. Then the dentist went to work on my teeth. The top 2 came out with ease, whilst the bottom two gave the dentist a harder time. I did not experience much pain, but I did feel the immense pressure of the dentist removing the teeth. The only pain I did experience was on the final tooth; it was buried deep in the gums and the dentist had to go deeper in and section the tooth into pieces to extract it. I recall having a sharp pain which I was able to communicate to my dentist. She increased my sedation and gave me an extra anesthetic injection which numbed me quite well from that point forward.

The whole procedure took ~3 hours, although it felt like only ~30 minutes to me. I got out of the dentist chair feeling slightly floaty, but I was able to walk on my own without assistance. I had a very buttery taste in my mouth, almost like movie theater popcorn. From there, they took another x-ray and I was on my way home.

I hope this reaches someone out there who is also finding themselves afraid of the IV sedation. Just know your dentist can adjust your sedation exactly to your liking. You can be as awake, aware, and in control as you want, and likewise they can knock you out and have you sleep throughout the whole thing. The choice is yours, just communicate your concerns and desires with your dentist and you will be just find. I feel really foolish for freaking out over this procedure for such a long time; it was as easy as going in to get a haircut. You will be fine and will be walking out of that dentistry feeling great!