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Dental hygiene appointment with local anaesthetic - can I take any kind of sedation beforehand?

E

essella

Member
Joined
Jan 2, 2023
Messages
21
Location
Wales
I have a dental hygiene appointment coming up, and my new dentist has said he will do a local anaesthetic prior to. I totally understand why as the hygienist needs to do the work prior to two root canals. They are doing this hygiene work because my dentist believes he can save two of my teeth via root canals and extract only one (as opposed to extracting all three, which is what I was expecting to be told, and had been told previously).

He also wants to try and get me to a place in stages whereby I can deal with dental appointments without freaking out (the hygiene appointment is also to give him an idea of what I can handle prior to doing root canals and extractions). I guess if I don't manage that, the only remaining option would be IV sedation. I'm trying to avoid this, and so is my dentist, as I have tried to do this previously and freaked out massively. I'm also trying to avoid being referred to my local hospital for general anaesthetic for extractions - which is what happened last time when I couldn't go through with the IV sedation (at my previous dental surgery).

So. My question is, I haven't had any injections yet from this new dentist, but have been for an initial appointment and feel very comfortable with him and with the practice. They know that I have a low pain threshold, plus dental anxiety. They are good with anxious patients and have a very good reputation locally. They also offer IV sedation if needed.

For context, I have moderate needle phobia but can usually cope (with some anxiety) if I can't see or feel the injection at all. I have health anxiety though around taking medication /having it injected. I panic that once something is in my system I have no control over what it does. Just this thought can make me feel panicky and dissociated. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can't help it, it's something I struggle with.

So I could do with some advice please. Can anyone on here recommend any ways that I could tackle this irrational fear please? I really want to go through with this. Will the dentist automatically freeze the area prior to injection? Or do I have to specify that I need the area freezing first? Will the injection still hurt?

Also, is there any kind of sedation I can take at home before I go, to stop my health anxiety kicking in once they've done the injection? For example, are natural sedatives, like Rescue Remedy,valerian etc allowed with a local, or even a G & T?! Any advice for how I can manage during the appointment please and stop myself panicking? I really want to go through with this, I am determined. Anything to avoid a general anaesthetic at hospital.

Any help, thoughts , advice and feedback would be greatly appreciated, thank you!
 
I would speak to your dentist, who sounds very understanding. When I had an extraction under IV I asked for and was given valium to take the night before and another in the morning. I didn't even feel the need to take the one in the morning.
The IV was great, I remember nothing of the procedure.

I didn't feel much when they put the needle in, just a pinch. The nurse put her hands on me to reassure me as it was going in so you could ask for that too.
I think there is a gel they can put on your arm or hand.
Wishing you all the best with this.
 
Will the dentist automatically freeze the area prior to injection? Or do I have to specify that I need the area freezing first? Will the injection still hurt?
Yes, we automatically bung some surface anaesthetic on before injecting. Double check with your dentist beforehand if you're worried about it.
The injection itself shouldn't hurt more than a slight pinch at worst.
Also, is there any kind of sedation I can take at home before I go, to stop my health anxiety kicking in once they've done the injection? For example, are natural sedatives, like Rescue Remedy,valerian etc allowed with a local, or even a G & T?
Ask your dentist to prescribe you something.

As a general rule I dislike Valium for dental sedation, sorry "feelingbetter" but there are other drugs like Temazepam which work better. If you take those though you really need an escort too and from the surgery.
I panic that once something is in my system I have no control over what it does. Just this thought can make me feel panicky and dissociated. I know this sounds ridiculous, but I can't help it, it's something I struggle with.
Your conscious mind doesn't control it but your autonomic system sure does! It gets whisked away to your liver by your bloodstream and your liver cells get straight to work breaking it down to get flushed out by your kidneys... any local anaesthetic is pretty well all gone inside 8 hrs.
 
Update - well I went for the hygienist appointment yesterday and it went really well! I had dosed myself up before on rescue remedy, and inhaled copious amounts of lavender oil, and was pretty chilled by time I got to the dental surgery - to the extent that the dentist said that he thought I could cope without a local, but that he could always pop in and do one if it got too much for me. I was quite happy to go along with that.

The hygienist was absolutely amazing and so patient and understanding, stopping at regular intervals so I could have a breather. She managed to get all the tartar off the two teeth that I'm having the root canal treatment on too! I came away feeling so happy that I'd been able to have the treatment done, and I'm feeling a lot less anxious about the root canal treatment than I was.

The dentist has made a treatment plan for me that builds up slowly to the final treatment which is an extraction (so two root canals and one extraction to go). I really appreciate how they don't make a big thing out of my anxiety and are so accepting, whilst coming up with a treatment plan that will get the necessary work done, but also hopefully reduce my dental phobia.

I'm also having a low dose oral sedative prescribed for the might before the root canal, and on the morning of - this is reducing my anxiety considerably, knowing that I can take that beforehand.

I wanted to give an update in case it helps others to, as I know how much reading other posts on this forum, and the replies from the moderators and admin, are helping me.
 
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