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Debilitating Fear



Junior member
May 23, 2024
Heya, this is my first post on here after lurking for quite a while. I'm 17, and I've been terrified of anything dental-related since my first traumatic experience at the dentist when I was about 6, and even more so with my traumatic experience at 15 for my wisdom teeth removal. I have an appointment next Tuesday for a cleaning and I don't think I can physically get through it. I'm being prescribed Valium 10mg and I'm getting nitrous for the appointment, but I'm just afraid it won't be strong enough. When should I take the Valium? Does it mix well with nitrous? What percentage can I expect the nitrous to be on? I'm physically shaking here just typing this. I tend to make a run for it at appointments, and sit there having a panic attack in the waiting room. I'm scared because I know I have a cavity/multiple cavities because I saw one on my back tooth in the mirror a few days ago. I'm extremely afraid of needles as well, I cry and faint whenever a needle gets near me. I don't know what to do or what to expect from this, and I'm hoping for at least a little comfort without sugarcoating the truth.

Thanks for reading and listening
Hi JulieFire :welcome: ,
I'm sorry to read about how much anxiety this is giving you. It sounds like you've had some horrendous experiences in the past so no suprise things are difficult now. You're doing a great job reading and posting here. It's a way of exposure and a preparation for your visit.
Not a doctor, but Valium should calm you down nicely before the apt and help you with the anxiety beforehand. You shouldn't have any panic attacks in the waiting room with that. Not sure when to take it - would it be an idea to get in touch with your practice and ask?
Nitrous is great. They will do a mixture of oxygen and nitrous and they will start with low nitrous and increase it until you reach a state that is pleasant. I've seen a couple of treatments with nitrous when I worked in a dental practice and even very nervous people got very calm with it and liked it. It makes you a little "drunk" so you do not percieve the treatment as you would without it. Chances are you won't even be able to tell when they do the anesthetic.
If you like some reading about nitrous and also oral sedation (which Valium belongs to), here are some links:

Fingers crossed for your apt tomorrow, you got this! :cheer2:
@Enarete Thank you so much for your reply. I've had some nightmares about how tomorrow will go, and I'm still fighting the urge to cancel/reschedule.
Since the time when I wrote this, I've developed a toothache in my bottom back left tooth, this is where I suspected the cavity to be. I'm really hoping that I'll be too out of it to notice pain and be scared of the needle, but I'm still terrified now.
Hey, how did it go?
@Enarete Unfortunately, the valium did absolutely noting for my anxiety, I was having an anxiety attack the entire time I was back there. Because of the fact I took valium beforehand, they couldn't turn the nitrous as high as I really needed. As soon as they called me in, I started crying and shaking, they put on nitrous, and I was just waiting to feel some kind of relief, but it never came.
They only did a cleaning today, but I have 4 cavities that need to be filled. Because of my horrible anxiety, they recommended a hospital setting where I could receive general anesthesia to get them filled.
I am absolutely horrified at the thought of getting an IV to the point I was scream-sobbing in the car on the way back home. And since 10 whole milligrams of Valium did nothing to curb my anxiety, I'm suspecting I can't be orally sedated effectively before the IV which makes it even worse.
So sorry to read that :( Sounds like a horrid experience. How have you managed to get through a cleaning in that state? Were you okay with that? I can't imagine any treatment at all if I'd panic in waiting room already and that even despite the valium..:(