• Welcome to Dental Fear Central! This is a place for mutual support and any questions you may have that are related to dental phobia, fear or anxiety. It is run by volunteers with first-hand experience of dental phobia and anxiety together with dental practitioners who like to help. The "Verified dentist" badges will tell you whether an answer has been provided by a qualified dental practitioner. If you'd like to use all the features of this forum and share your own experiences, or if you are a dental professional who would like to contribute, register now.

    We strive to promote a safe, friendly and trustworthy environment with our team of moderators monitoring all discussions daily.

Can you take anti-anxiety medication before IV sedation?

Status
Not open for further replies.
T

thewomanwrites

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
33
Hello to all and thanks in advance for taking the time to read this.

I am having the first of four extensive procedures done this Monday, at a new dental office. (Deep gum scaling and I'm not sure what else.) I will be given IV sedation as, like so many here, I am terrified of dental procedures.

My question: I had IV sedation a few years ago at another dental office and I was prescribed a med for the night before to help me sleep (Halcyon, I think it was) and meds to take the day of (Triazolam, four pills an hour before the procedure.)

As I understand it, this new dentist is not prescribing ANYTHING for either the night before or the day of. This does not feel right to me, as I will be a wreck by the time I walk into that office.

Now I'm convinced that the sedation won't "take" as well. Can anyone here surmise WHY he is not prescribing anything for me? I've called, but the office is now closed.

Just want your take on this as I can feel by anxiety level spike by the hour. I have Xanax. Should I go ahead and take that prior to the procedure?

Any insights would be much appreciated. Thank you.
 
Pianimo

Pianimo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
549
Location
UK
My question: I had IV sedation a few years ago at another dental office and I was prescribed a med for the night before to help me sleep (Halcyon, I think it was) and meds to take the day of (Triazolam, four pills an hour before the procedure.)

As I understand it, this new dentist is not prescribing ANYTHING for either the night before or the day of. This does not feel right to me, as I will be a wreck by the time I walk into that office.

Now I'm convinced that the sedation won't "take" as well. Can anyone here surmise WHY he is not prescribing anything for me?
Disclaimer: I'm a fellow phobic, not a dentist!

I've had IV sedation with two different dentists at two different practices, and have never been prescribed any oral sedation to take beforehand. This is actually very common - it's perfectly normal for a dentist to offer / recommend IV sedation alone. There's also no reason to think it won't work without you having had the other medication first. I was an absolute (and literally quivering!) WRECK at my first sedation appointment - and not exactly calm before any of them since :scared: - but the IV sedation has worked for me every time. :cloud9:

That being said, if you feel you need / would really benefit from taking medication like you have in the past, that's perfectly normal too, and there's no harm at all in asking for it. Basically, different dentists and practices offer different things - e.g. some offer only oral sedation and no IV, some vice versa (like mine), some both (like your old one), some only nitrous (laughing gas), some have any combination of the above...and of course many don't offer any sedation at all! This variatian is completely normal, and even when a practice does have a few sedation options on offer, the dentists have to consider what they think is best to recommend for each specific person and treatment.

So, I don't think the fact that your new dentist is doing things differently from your old one has to be a reason to be suspicious, or to think he's done something wrong. After all, unless you told him, he wouldn't know what your previous experience was like. All you can do is explain how the pre-appointment medication has helped so much you in the past, and ask if it's a possiblity this time. One other possible solution - if your new dentist doesn't prescribe oral sedatives, you may be able to get some via your GP instead; however, you MUST still check with your dentist first, and make sure he knows exactly what and how much you've taken.

I hope you get a positive response when you get in touch with them. (And that the anxiety doesn't spiral too far until then!) Let us know how you get on. :hug4:
 
T

thewomanwrites

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2008
Messages
33
Disclaimer: I'm a fellow phobic, not a dentist!

I've had IV sedation with two different dentists at two different practices, and have never been prescribed any oral sedation to take beforehand. This is actually very common - it's perfectly normal for a dentist to offer / recommend IV sedation alone. There's also no reason to think it won't work without you having had the other medication first. I was an absolute (and literally quivering!) WRECK at my first sedation appointment - and not exactly calm before any of them since :scared: - but the IV sedation has worked for me every time. :cloud9:

That being said, if you feel you need / would really benefit from taking medication like you have in the past, that's perfectly normal too, and there's no harm at all in asking for it. Basically, different dentists and practices offer different things - e.g. some offer only oral sedation and no IV, some vice versa (like mine), some both (like your old one), some only nitrous (laughing gas), some have any combination of the above...and of course many don't offer any sedation at all! This variatian is completely normal, and even when a practice does have a few sedation options on offer, the dentists have to consider what they think is best to recommend for each specific person and treatment.

So, I don't think the fact that your new dentist is doing things differently from your old one has to be a reason to be suspicious, or to think he's done something wrong. After all, unless you told him, he wouldn't know what your previous experience was like. All you can do is explain how the pre-appointment medication has helped so much you in the past, and ask if it's a possiblity this time. One other possible solution - if your new dentist doesn't prescribe oral sedatives, you may be able to get some via your GP instead; however, you MUST still check with your dentist first, and make sure he knows exactly what and how much you've taken.

I hope you get a positive response when you get in touch with them. (And that the anxiety doesn't spiral too far until then!) Let us know how you get on. :hug4:
Thanks, Pianimo.

Your reply is very much appreciated. I am going to ask about taking Xanax beforehand. Meanwhile, I am trying to calm down. "Trying" being the operative word!:scared:
 
drhirst

drhirst

Super Moderator
Verified dentist
Joined
Dec 7, 2008
Messages
667
Location
Welwyn Garden City, UK
Hi,

I cannot improve on what Pianimo has posted. I have been using IV sedation for about 8 years. Here in the UK the norm is not to prescribe oral sedatives beforehand. IV works just fine without them. However, recently I have been inclined to use them to try to reduce just the anxiety you are currently going through. After all, why suffer more than you need to? I guess most dentists don’t see their patients in the hours before their appointment so do not appreciate what it is like.
Your iv will be just as effective without them. I find when I am really worried about something, that trying to keep really busy helps. I am sure many of the other posters here will have some top tips on passing those final hours. Perhaps start a new thread on the subject!
I really hope it all goes well for you,
Lincoln
 
B

bella127

Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
25
Optimum time to take oral sedation?

Hi there,

I'm trying the whole oral sedation route at the moment.

I've been given 10mg diazepam tablets, and the instructions were to take 10mg the night before, 10mg when I wake up, and 10mg before the appointment.

I did that - and another 10mg in the waiting room a I was still on the verge of a breakdown. It just about - and I mean only just about - took the very slightest edge off.

I have to go back in on Thursday for two fillings. The panic and nausea have already started creeping in.

My main question, is what is the optimum time to take the tablets to feel the effects when I need them most? I'm not going to bother with the night before tablet (I just cry myself to sleep :rolleyes:), and have to go to work before the procedure so probably won't take one when I wake up (7.30am, work at 8.45am, will leave work at 10.20am to get there for my appointment that is 10.50am).

I think I'll end up taking 3 tablets, so 30mg. When would be the best time to take them? How long does it take for the effects to be at their strongest?

Thank you.. :redface:
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,871
Location
Miami, Fl
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

In the USA serial doses like you described is not permitted in most states unless the doctor has a sedation permit. In general Valium(Diazapam) has a very long 1/2 life so I don't consider it a great drug for sedation. The details you will have to work out with your dentist. Depending on where you are you might have other options.
 
B

bella127

Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
25
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

I'm in the UK. It was the dentist herself that prescribed the diazepam for me.

I would much prefer IV sedation, which I had previously (about 6 years ago, different practice, different part of the country) but have been encouraged to try and get through with the diazepam to begin "conquering" my phobia.
 
Pianimo

Pianimo

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jan 15, 2011
Messages
549
Location
UK
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

bella127 said:
I'm in the UK. It was the dentist herself that prescribed the diazepam for me.

I would much prefer IV sedation, which I had previously (about 6 years ago, different practice, different part of the country) but have been encouraged to try and get through with the diazepam to begin "conquering" my phobia.
I have to say, IMO if you'd prefer IV sedation, then you should be able to have it. I understand where your dentist is coming from, and I'm certain she has your best interests in mind, but ultimately, unless there are medical contraindications, it should be the patient's choice.

I feel strongly about this because I personally don't agree with the belief that IV sedation prevents people from dealing with their fears. Firstly, I know from my own experience that positive dental appointments done under IV sedationn CAN and DO help someone be less nervous about and more able to cope with future appointments without sedation. The first thing I let my old dentist do to me unsedated was replace a temporary filling, which may seem like a little thing to people, but even that would have felt impossible to me until I'd built up a relationship of trust and a gained a few positive dental experiences with her - which were all either treatment under IV sedation, or just talking appointments.

Secondly, my goal is not necessarily the same as other people's, or a dentist's goal for me. In other words, having treatment unsedated is not my goal! In addition to anxiety, I have a mouth phobia and strong gag reflex, and hate having things in my mouth. A year and a half ago, I couldn't imagine even thinking about a dental appointment without hating the idea, feeling terrified, and not getting so far as booking, let alone going. Pain forced my hand...and discovering treatment under IV sedation introduced me to a world where dental appointments didn't have to be a "GET-ME-OUT-OF-HERE-NOW!" experience from start to finish. Ok, I still get (very!) nervous before appointments, but I book them, I turn up, and I KNOW I can get through them. I don't like going, but I don't totally dread it or avoid it any more.

And this is enough for me. I don't feel that forcing myself to go through treatment unsedated is worth it - and that's my choice. I'm happy knowing I'll possibly always have actual treatment (e.g. filling, RCT, exctraction) under IV sedation (check-ups, hygiene and short/'little' stuff unsedated). For me, 'conquering' my phobia is not about becoming like the non-phobic people, but rather about not letting it control me any more. IV sedation HELPS me in that goal; it doesn't hinder me. If I've found a way to make going to the dentist something I can cope with, even something 'ok' - why on earth wouldn't I want to use it?!

Oh dear, sorry, you've got me on a hobby horse there! :rolleyes: :redface: And, I haven't even answered your question! :doh: I guess I just wanted to say that you shouldn't feel your dentist's way is the only way - you need to do what's right for you. We're all different, and for some people (possibly including you!) what your dentist is doing would be ideal. I'm always SO impressed with people who get to that point of now longer being afraid, and who can attend all appointments with no sedation or help at all - and I think if you can reach that point, that's fantastic! What's key is that you must be allowed to set your own goals and make your own choices. If you believe in your dentist's plan - go for it! (And I apologise once more for my rather impassioned speech!) If you remain convinced that IV sedation is the best choice for you, then don't be afraid to ask for it! (If it's too late for Thursday, ask to cancel and rebook.) Unless you're sure it's what you want, please don't suffer through another ordeal of an appointment, when it doesn't have to be that way.

Fwiw, if you go with the diazepam, I think it's best to take it in the way your dentist has prescribed. Or, if you want to change when you take the tablets - especially if it's going to involve taking them closer in time together - ring up and check it's ok to do it that way first. With any medication, it's always better safe than sorry. :)

All the best for Thursday, and the anxious days in between! :hug4:
 
B

bella127

Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
25
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

Thank you for taking the time to write that reply :)

The clinic doesn't offer IV sedation as standard - they have to bring some other guy in to supervise. Whilst I would love IV sedation (even for a check up, that would be nice.. never gonna happen, but nice!), I really do want to try and get as "normal" as I can with as little faff as possible. If I spend the rest of my life having to pop a few pills before heading to the dentist, then so be it - that's immeasurably preferable to never having to go again ever.

The dentist is lovely and is trying her best for me, and she does listen - I am keen to try and get going on this. I just wanted to give the diazepam the best possible chance of helping, as I felt the dosage last time was a bit all over the place and I don't know if I took it at the rigth times to be effective.

I know there's a root canal in my future somewhere, and we've already agreed that that can be done under IV as there's just no way on God's green earth I could get through that without it :rolleyes:
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
6,096
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

Diazepam is really not a very good drug for oral premedication, could you ask for a referral to a clinic that does offer IV sedation or at least a better choice of drugs?
 
P

Patti

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 28, 2006
Messages
749
Location
Michigan, USA
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

My dentist prescribed 2.5mg of Ativan. That stuff wipes out anxiety!
 
sudzs

sudzs

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
193
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

I was told by a dentist a couple of years ago that he couldn't prescribe valium for me. (in the UK btw) Something to do with Harold Shipman he said. :scared:

I have my own anyway!!! So I took 5mg today 90 mins before my appointment today and was fine until I was in the chair. Then the panic set in but then I wasn't 100% confidant in this dentist, only went back as I'd already paid forthe initial appointment, x-rays etc, and the previous filling she did had to be tweaked......:cry: that was a weird one but might need a new thread.

But bella, that is a good dose you took, it would have zonked me out. For optimum effect though I would take the 30mg 90mins before the appointment but I'm no doc! That is a lot of diaz to take and if you still felt terrible then I'd take Gordons advice and seek other options.
 
L

littlestar88

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
454
Location
England
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

sudzs Maybe you should see a different doctor if that one won't prescribe valium because of Harold Shipman. (Not really sure how he's relavent anyway). If theres nothing medically wrong with you and you arn't taking other medicines that would make valium a bad idea then a doctor should prescribe it to you. I got (a fairly weak) form of valium from my NHS doctor when I lived in the UK both for dental visits and air travel so there are certainly doctors out there who are willing to prescribe it. Good luck
 
B

bella127

Member
Joined
May 9, 2012
Messages
25
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

My doctor refused Valium for me too, before I booked the dentist appointment - I felt like I needed something to even get anywhere near the clinic. But the doctor, and I quote, "won't prescribe drugs like that for minor problems like being bit nervous of the dentist".

Won't be seeing THAT joker again.

Thank you for all your considerations. I'm going to take it at about 9.50am I think, and I will talk to her today about other options if it still feels inadequate. I think my brain's just very, very good at blocking out anything that might help me when I get panicky - I've had to have tons and tons of local before because I was CONVINCED it was still agonising.

Ugh. I don't want to play :(
 
L

littlestar88

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 15, 2008
Messages
454
Location
England
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

Makes me really cross to hear of doctors who wont provide medications to people who need them and also who describe phobias as 'minor problems'. Sounds like a good idea to find a doctor who actually understands. Also perhaps my doctor was a bit more willing with me because he had seen me faint every time they took blood so could see how bad I was!
 
Kim

Kim

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 4, 2012
Messages
1,882
Location
Hertfordshire
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

I am with you on that one Littlestar88 - the doctor I saw before I got my treatment did prescribe me Diazepam tablets, and I had gone to her because she was normally really considerate. However, when I told her what it was for, she didn't seem at all sympathetic and told me I would be better to go for CBT, but that I would not be able to get that in time for my appointment, so I feel she rather reluctantly prescribed them.

I have taken them a couple of times, but hadn't really noticed much difference. When I had my extractions, Lincoln prescribed me Temazepam and I took one the night before and two the morning of - I really felt they put me into a sort of 'slow motion' state, and felt really chilled out.

Gordon, if you catch up on this, you say that Diazepam is not a very good oral pre-medication, what would you suggest asking for in relation to a better 'choice of drugs' please?

And Pianimo - I couldn't agree with you more, you have said it exactly how it is for me, :thankyou:
 
Gordon

Gordon

Administrator
Staff member
Verified dentist
Joined
Oct 25, 2005
Messages
6,096
Re: Optimum time to take oral sedation?

Temazepam like Lincoln gave you :)

Much better drug, onset is faster, which is good, it gives a much nicer sedation effect somehow and it's also much faster at wearing off, Diazepam is much longer acting and just doesn't seem to work as well.
 
A

allonsy

Member
Joined
Jun 21, 2012
Messages
23
Location
Australia
Taking calmatives before an IV-Sedation appointment

I'm absolutely terrified-my appointment is on Monday (three extractions) and I'm trying to keep my courage up to get me through the door! I've read about people taking valium or xanax to get through it, but I can't make it to a doctor to get a prescription... Is there anything else I can take to calm me down? I bought this flower remedy stuff, but I don't think its working (it probably was never going to!)... More to the point, if I'm being sedated, can I take anything anyway? I'm not supposed to eat for at least 6hrs before the procedure.
 
FearfulInMA

FearfulInMA

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jun 14, 2012
Messages
2,194
Location
Massachusetts, USA
Re: Taking calmatives before an IV-Sedation appointment

I use rescue remedy (maybe the flower remedy you are talking about) and also Ignatia (a homeopathic remedy). Both work for me to take the edge off (the Ignatia works better for me). You should call the dentist's office today to find out if there is any reason you should not take them prior to the extractions. They may also be able to prescribe you something for the anxiety. Can't hurt to call, right?

Good luck to you!
 
sudzs

sudzs

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2009
Messages
193
Re: Taking calmatives before an IV-Sedation appointment

Boots, Superdrug etc have pills called Quiet Life. They have hops and valarian and other calming herbal things things in them. They are pretty good but I always double or treble the dose!!

Could you ring the dentist and ask for a valium prescription for you to pick up? That would get you through the weekend. I don't think you should take it on the day though.

Best of luck, you will be fine with the sedation. :hug4:
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top