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Deep Sedation vs. General Anesthesia and Other Stuff



Junior member
Mar 13, 2018
I spent 25 minutes just thinking about a title to this submission, as to be so flummoxed in the anxiety of needing fairly extensive dental work, while unfortunately, reading these threads does little to instill calm.

Obviously, I am odontophobic coupled with a mild form of autism (manifesting in a hypersensitivity to light and sound) and some horrific childhood dental experiences. The idea of sitting in a dentist chair for 3 hours of staring into a bright light, scrapping, drilling, suctioning and pulling and I become suicidal in my thoughts. I don't know if I could even handle the so-called "deep sedation" of being mildly awake, so I have inquired as to general anesthesia in a dentist office as to discover the services to be so highly specialized as it not to be a viable alternative due to availability.

So my questions are, as follows:

Did I get bad information from my recently acquainted dentist office as to the rarity of general anesthesiologist in the course of oral surgery?

Am I overreacting in thinking deep sedation will be inadequate for a session of tooth extraction, root canal and 4 quadrants of deep cleaning?

Are the risks greatly magnified with a dentist administrating a coma-inducing sedative vs. a specialized anesthesiologist?

Unfortunately, I do not have family to express my heighten dental anxiety as even my spouse mocks my fear and previous experiences. In fact, I will not notify anyone in my family as to my dentist visits to avoid insensitive comments afterwards. The Board's insights would be greatly appreciated.
Well, my to-be-root-canal tooth just blew up over dinner leaving behind a fractured, jagged half. Need to start looking through Yelp to find an emergency endodontist as I was not impressed with my dentist office's advice and think a specialist would be a better option. While no pain (yet), I hope I may struggle through this process without backing-out -- wish me well.
Hi C2,

I would recommend you get this sorted with a specialist (as you said you are going to) as they will have no problem using intravenous anaesthetic for your procedures and I would really recommend that to eliminate any stress throughout. I have had a tooth extracted while being completely knocked out, and also one with just numbing. Both were fine experiences but for your situation it would just elevate external stresses and you will feel quite pleasant afterwards. Not sure if you are in the UK, or how it works if you are not, but your dentist can usually refer you to a specialist in extractions for this purpose.

Hope all goes well for you!