• Dental Phobia Support

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Dental Dam & Anxiety Meds (Root Canal)



Well-known member
Mar 9, 2022
The big week is finally here. Although I have had 3 root canals in the last 7 years I have developed terrible dental anxiety. I am getting RCT on #31 on Thursday and I am so worried that I won't be able to breathe or swallow because my mouth will be open and the dental dam will be in. I always fear not being able to swallow because I feel like I literally can't. Any tips help. I wanted to ask if the dental dam blocks your throat in anyway when in your mouth? Can I ask them to position it in such a way that it isn't covering my whole mouth?

Secondly, my dentist prescribed me Halcion to sedate me but I have personal reasons why I do not want to be that sedated. I told him okay in the initial appointment, but after further thought, I would rather take Xanax or Ativan that I am going to ask my doctor to prescribe me today. I would rather feel like some of the edge is off and more alert than totally sedated and loopy, especially because I have taken Xanax/Ativan before. How do I tell/ask the office if it's okay to take either of those medicines instead? I feel so embarrassed and don't know how to ask or let them know.
1) It doesn't stop you from being able to breathe. Swallowing is largely avoided by using suction to remove saliva rather than having to swallow it. Arrange a signal in advance with the dentist when you want to stop for a break, the dam can stay on but you can move about a bit if required.
2) You need to tell them, I'm sure they won't care but they do need to know in advance of the appointment.
Conqueringfears! First off , really great job of making this appointment and progressing towards it despite all the fears and anxiety! You seem to have quite some momentum going and really pressing in though you know it will not be easy. Definately think its easier if you put your concerns out there before the procedure and let them know you need to feel like you can swallow and would like it not to cover your entire mouth , also I ask for a suctionn to keep in my hand they let me put the suction down a space to suck up any fluid whenever I feel the need that always helps. Honestly the Dental dam for me gives me peace of mind stopping things from going down , I really try to do my best to breath through it and breath through my nose best i can I"m an ativanner myself on hard procedures and defintely would rather feel the chill , taking the edge off feeling than out of it or loopy . My Dr would prescribe for me and any dentist has been ok with it but always good to let them know so they don't give you anything else that would contradict it.
I so get the feeling of being panicked because of not being able to swallow I hope you will get what you need and have a calm ,comforting experience through this. :grouphug:
@krlovesherkids777 thank you so much! I so badly want to conquer this fear for I know it will bring me much comfort and be good for my health. I will be sure to voice my concerns when I get there tomorrow morning. I have been crying so much and full of fear, but I have survived fear many times in my life. In the dental chair and out of it. I am hoping it all goes well. I really thank you for your support.
Remember we are here along the way and will encourage you, even in the waiting room if you are waiting and need someone if no one is on you can vent and put it out there ) I've done it myself and it really helps