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Ativan and Appointments



Dec 16, 2020
Hi all,

I have an appt coming up in a month to address a broken root canal tooth. I have no pain in the tooth, and doing my best to keep the area clean and not eat crazy crunchy or sticky foods. Regardless, my anxiety is still relentless. EVERYDAY. I have such a fear of pain and not numbing at the dentist that it literally rules my mind whenever I have an appt coming up.

I am actively trying to combat this and put myself in a better headspace. I have made my appts, making sure to keep up with my oral hygiene, talked to my therapist and joined this forum to help quell the bad thoughts.

Today, I made an appt with my Dr to discuss adding xanax or ativan to my arsenal to make it easier for me to get through the dentists door and be a little bit more calm in the chair. I'm so bad that I have had to be referred for IV sedation on a root canal and extraction in the past. Whenever my dentist would try to start the work, I would burst out in tears.

Does anyone have advice on the best medication routine they found to help quell the anxiety? (i.e. taking a pill the night before and then an hour before?) I am extremely anxious when it comes to the dentist, and I have tried xanax before (2 pills before the appt) and it just didn't work for me. My adrenaline pumped it all through my system quickly and I was still a mess going, and couldn't finish the appt. But, I want to try again to help me through and help build better memories about going to the dentist and it ending up being an OK experience.

Any advice is welcome. I feel so helpless and negative about the dentist when I know I could find a better way to approach this.
It's really difficult to suggest an oral sedation routine for somebody you've never met, have no idea of their current medication and their previous medical histories.

As a very general rule, I prefer using shorter acting drugs, Temazepam would be my drug of choice for an oral premed. Probably a small dose the night before to make sure the patient has a good night's rest first and then some more before the appointment.

Ativan is a very long acting drug and I would tend to avoid it for that reason.
Bear in mind that any benzodiazepine drug will interfere with short term memory, so you may well not build any better memories if you've used them :)