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Ativan / Novocaine Questions



Mar 25, 2013
Hello. I recently started fixing my mouth. I had not been to the dentist in years. I do not have a specific phobia of needles, the drills, the sights and smells, directly. Just a general anxiety as I don't have much dental experience. But I also (outside of any dental issues) have panic attacks although they are entirely controlled now and I have one that I can't control maybe once a year. During my period my anxiety is much higher and I usually take 0.5 Ativan (lorazopam) on those days and am fine.

My first visit for real work was last Thursday. It was supposed to be a double root canal. The endodontist was excellent and really made me comfortable and explained we only needed to root canal one tooth. At that time I asked him about the Ativan and told him I had it. He said well let's try without it and said I really should be totally comfortable the entire time. I felt great about it and we started. He gave me the numbing shots. Immediately my anxiety was back, I felt horrible, got the shakes especially in my legs really bad. Sweaty like crazy and hot. He started right away so I am just laying there trying to control these feelings....nothing he was doing in my mouth was the issue. He said I was just feeling the epidrene (spelling) in the Novocaine when I told him what I was feeling. 25 minutes or so into the root canal I started getting more control. The shakes slowed down and over all the procedure was absolutely fine.

I went in again yesterday as the same tooth needed a post put in and to have the filling done as I am getting a temp crown. She also wanted to do the filling on the tooth that they thought they would root canal but didn't. I told her I really had a bad time when they gave me the Novocaine with the adrenaline in it. She said we could do the post and filling on the root canal tooth using Novocaine without the stuff in it. We did do that, but I was not fully numb although it didn't matter as the tooth she was working on had had a root canal and there was no pain. However she said she would need it to be more numb to start on the big filling on the other tooth they initially wanted to root canal. I asked her to do that another day. I had just experience that scary feeling on Thursday and was not ready to handle it again by Sunday and I am also on my period so on top of regular anxiety about the dentist, it's in full force hormonally. I again mentioned the Ativan but I don't seem to get a straight answer. I am going again on wednesday and now I am suffering what I feel is too much anxiety.

You see my anxiety gets really flared up when I mixed medications or take something new. I am MOSTLY here asking if I can take a dose of Ativan before I arrive at the dentist? I have some fear that it would make the adrenaline in that novocaine worse or any number of irrational thoughts that come up due to anxiety and I am just looking to hear from others if I can take something to help my get through Wednesday. I know I can tough it out but the whole reason I was finally "lured" into starting to fix my teeth was the promise of comfortable experiences.
Hi tootsie :welcome: to the forum.

I don't know about the medication you are wanting to take but a lot of others on here take the Ativan you have before appointments. They all say that they feel fine. I would be tempted to take one tablet before, and see how you go at the appointment.

You could ring the reception and ask them if you are okay to take it also.


It maybe your dentist isn't familiar with the tablet and isn't very sure herself on what to advise you. I am sure others will be here soon to answer you with their experiences.

I wish you well with your upcoming appointment, let us know how you get on.
I did mention it to the dentist yesterday but it almost seems like no matter how clear I am, they are always trying to soothe "my" fears of the needle itself or the work itself. I told her yesterday I was TOTALLY fine with the actual procedure of the root canal. I felt no pain, watched TV...etc...all after I got over that insane rush I was on from the Novocaine. The second procedure yesterday, with the Novocaine without adrenaline went great and was a positive experience.

But just knowing she wants to use the one with the adrenaline for the big filling I am getting done on Wednesday is causing me a lot of anxiety, fear and making me want to stop all this madness. If I knew 100% I am safe to take the Ativan (also called Lorazepam or Klonopin etc) with the Novocaine with the adrenaline then I will do so.

I am sure it's fine to take because it's a highly prescribed medication for dental worry and all those people likely get the regular Novocaine. I just like to check and recheck to calm my anxiety about taking medications and mixing them.
I am sorry but I am not medical, I cannot tell you to take it, but as I said many people on here have, lillyh for one that I can name straight away, sorry to others that take it. I will try and find her thread for you and come back.

Also a dentist may come on and be able to advise you better than me.

There are a lot of people on here that do take it and they are fine. You must still TELL YOUR DENTIST if you do take it before you go.

Back in a mo ;)

I may be wrong here but I can't find it I will keep looking and in the meantime maybe someone will be on that has taken it and can give you better info than me.
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Also try local without epi.
Thanks for everyones advice. I will for sure tell the dentist about anything I take. Hopefully the ativan can help make the reaction a little less severe.

I know what you mean and commend you for being so open about your anxiety.
I have an anxiety disorder and know what panic attacks can do to you. I am also nervous around dentists as most places I have been to, until now, have made me feel as small as a pebble.

Anyway, my first question to you is if these panic attacks or anxiety appear around the same time every month. I ask because I experienced the same thing. Turns out that I had something called PMDD. It's like PMS only much worse. If you are not sure, keep track of them and when they occur. In my case, I get a birth control shot. My panic attacks have not come back in 5 years.

As to your dental issue, I try to prepare myself ahead of time by taking a few tylenol. I also apply some orajel to the tooth being worked on so that it can help me be even more numb. Mentally, I would do meditation. Imagine some places or things that make you feel relaxed and at ease. I also ask if I can listen to my I Pod. That is a big help. In most cases, I just tell myself that it will be over soon and breathe deep while it is being done.

Your mind is a powerful weapon. Turn it against the anxiety and make the uneasy a positive.

Hope this helps!
Hi! Sounds like we have a lot in common because my anxiety is 100% worse during my period. In fact, the past few years I've only had to take ANYTHING for my anxiety for the couple of worst days during my period. On regular basis, now that I've had anxiety and panic for many years, I can control it on my own.

So yeah my appointments were at the WORST time of month. I did keep that in mind. I have another appointment tomorrow. My period is over today. Still a little close and I'll likely have a higher level of anxiety then normal because I know she wants to use the Novocaine with adrenaline in it, but I am going to take some Ativan (let her know I did) and hope for the best.
Good luck :clover::clover::clover:

Also know that however you feel, like if your heart is racing or if you feel like a panic attack is happening that it will pass and nothing bad will happen to you. The effects you felt before did pass and you were able to calm yourself down.

I wish you all the best for your appointment, let us know how you get on :grouphug::grouphug::grouphug:
Thanks I appreciate it. Just knowing other people have the same feelings as I do is a great help.

One of the most helpful exercises I do to calm myself I wasn't able to use so that played a big part. When I "normally" have panic, I can now control it if not stop it dead by first relaxing with a couple deep breathes. Then I concentrate starting with the muscles in my feet. While breathing, I tighten them VERY tight and imagine all the anxiety and thoughts that something bad will happen, all that I concentrate that its in those muscles I am tightening, then I release with a breath going out and imagine all that going "out" with the relaxation of the muscle. Then I move to the calf muscles, the thighs, etc etc all the way to to the top of my head. Doing the exercise with each muscle group.

However the adrenaline rush had me shaking so bad I wasn't able to do my exercise. I think that alone brought on more panic.

Anyways I will report in and let you all know how it goes so that hopefully someone else reading will take some good out of it.
I would explain to your dentist that you suffer panic attacks, which I think you have already done. Also tell her about the exercise that you do to calm down, ask if you feel panic'd could she just give you a couple of minutes to collect yourself and that if you are given time to do this you will be fine.

Carys that used to come on here had a panic attack at the dentist and he just gave a a couple of minutes to calm down, this worked and she was fine and he carried on with no further problems, This also happened to her just after having the injections.
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I think it's been worse then it's needs to be because I haven't taken my Ativan beforehand because of some irrational fear that it might mix with something they give me. But the more reading I do the more it seems ridiculous as it's a commonly prescribed medication at the dentist and I'm ONLY getting a filling done with novocaine....no other medications. So a lot of my fear is actually preventing me from a more comfortable visit.

Tonight I am taking .5 mg Ativan and tomorrow morning before my appointment I am going to take 1 mg. I already have anxiety about it and I DO want to make progress. She said we can do smaller fillings with the numbing agent that won't give me that adrenaline rush, and I think since I JUST started my dental "trip" I will start making my progress with getting comfortable not using anything for anxiety, at those easier more gentle visits.

I will be telling her I took the Ativan of course. :)
GOod morning forum.

Well my appointment is in a couple hours. I had a great sleep last night although I do have some fearful anxiety this morning. *sigh* I just wish I could be tougher. Anyways I will let you all know how it went this time since I will be taking Ativan beforehand in hopes it will help with any panic attack I have.

I read through some of the articles on this website about the numbing, the epi etc and it was very helpful.
Already glad I have taken the Ativan this time. I am just so much more relaxed. My appointment is at 11:30 so I took a mg at 10:30 and will bring another .5 in case I need it. But wow sometimes it's nice to just not fight it and use a little help. Already feeling more in control and MUCH less fearful. I just want this to be positive. Not a fighting struggling negative.

Just figured I'd update again because I know for me sometimes even the thought of taking the help (the Ativan) can in itself be a source of anxiety for some.
I hope your appointment went well and that you were much more relaxed this time :grouphug::hug5::hug5::hug5:
Hello! The appointment went great. But the biggest thing is that the Ativan works wonders and it was a WAY better experience. I will continue to take it when I need freezing that contains epi.
:jump::jump::jump: Congratulations I am glad you have sorted this out :yayy: good luck for you next appointment, I think now you will be fine from the sound of it :respect::respect::respect: We know what we need to get through and when we can feel involved and the dentists will allow us to work with them it makes a whole load of difference.

WELL DONE YOU :yay::yay::yay::butterfly:
I am on my way to the dentist and you have helped me greatly. I just want to say thank you. I took my Ativan and I am ready. Glad to hear there are people out there just like me!!!