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IV sedation - absolutely terrified

I have similar fears but I can reassure you re IV sedation. I've had it 4 times and there is absolutely no spinning sensation. I remember the needle going in because I was told it was, although I didn't actually feel it. I then remember lying on the chair and waiting to feel sleepy but instead I must have nodded off very quickly. I was vaguely aware of the dentist working in my mouth and talking, I remember opening my mouth when asked and then when it was time to wake up, it felt like waking up from a good sleep. I wasn't quite 'with it' but no dizziness at all and not even especially wobbly.

I did breathe too lightly while having treatment and was given oxygen - I remember being asked to take a few deep breaths. You'll be monitored throughout and have an oximeter on a finger to check your blood-oxygen level.

Once home, a 2 hour drive later, I slept for about 4 hours, got up in the night for a snack, then slept through the night to mid-morning the following day and was absolutely fine.
Thankyou so much to everyone who has replied, I really really appreciate it. Went for the half hour appointment this morning so thought I'd do an update.

So this time I got to speak with the dental surgeon who does the IV sedation and the surgical extractions. The nurse I saw the other time was also in the room. They're both lovely and I felt a bit guilty as the dental nurse was worried she'd put me off last time so I said no, it wasn't her (which it wasn't) it's me and I just get really anxious, which is true. She looked relieved. I know it's probably more challenging for dental staff dealing with anxious patients, it can't be easy, and I'm really mindful of that.

Anyway... so the dental surgeon is really nice. He's very down to earth and the bit that I really liked is that he is very supportive of a holistic approach. When I mentioned things like meditation, visualisation, herbal medicine etc he wasn't at all dismissive. If anything he said that they are open as a practice to all that stuff, and mentioned acupuncture and tapping as other things they sometimes use at the surgery or can provide access to. Which really surprised me and made me feel a lot more at ease, because that's much ,much more my comfort zone.

He also said that my confidence (with dental care) isn't yet that high (which is true), so the most realistic plan would be to get the teeth extracted as planned (by IV sedation), and the root canal done (by local, no sedation) and then look at a plan of care going forwards once my teeth are in a good place, with the goal being to get me to a place of not necessarily loving going to the dentist, but to at least being ok with it for regular visits so my teeth don't get that bad again, and to be able to tolerate treatment and local anaesthetic etc combined with relaxation techniques. I mean, yes, I'd like to get to that place too, of course I would. I also shared about the horrible experience I'd had with an extraction /GA as a kid, and I think he did take that on board as being a big factor in my dental phobia now, and accept that's where my anxiety comes from and why it's so all-consuming. There was empathy and understanding there, rather than judgement basically, which was a huge relief.

He looked at the x rays and he doesn't seem to think there's anything there of any concern that would make the extractions hugely complicated. Having said that he is really experienced in doing surgical extractions. Seemed ok with everything else I told him too, even when I expressed my fears. He says they only administer a tiny bit of the IV sedation at a time, so they can monitor very closely. I prefer that as I feel more in control. And you can say enough to that too, or tell them to stop if you want them to stop, which is reassuring. It's also ok if I take Rescue remedy the night before, and he recommended some other things I could do the night before to take the focus off my anxiety over the sedation the next day. He said to look at holistic coping strategies and also that a good thing to do is to find something enjoyable to do the night before, rather than gripping the chair all evening in fear - and I can see the sense in this, so I'm going to try. I don't know if it will work, but I'm going to try. I'm so used to focusing on the fear that it just consumes me. But I'm going to try and see if I can find better ways to cope with it, that might bring it down quite a few notches. I'm open to trying anything at this stage tbh.

The appointment for the extractions isn't until April now so I'm going to use that time until then to do some research (ok, googling) around holistic remedies for coping with dental phobia. So please if anyone is reading this and knows of any good ones, or of any good resources, I'd really appreciate being signposted to those please, thanks in advance.

Also, I've got the root canal a month before the extractions (the root canal is being done by local anaesthetic only, no sedation), so my plan is to see what I can do to help myself between now and then to help me deal with this (thinking things like hypnosis/visualisation/tapping etc) so that I can use those techniques in the chair to help me cope with the treatment - and if I manage the root canal ok I think that'll put me in a stronger position if I then decide I'd rather attempt the extractions just with local and not the sedation. Although I think if the dentist says sedation is the best route for these I have to respect that as he's the professional and I trust that he knows what is the best option. Also, I don't think it'd be fair to expect him to try and do extractions on anyone who is as nervous and fearful as I am at the moment. I can understand that a very nervous patient is probably best sedated just so he can focus on doing his job and not get stressed himself by me being stressed.

So that's where things are at the moment...I'm still apprehensive that the teeth (that are long overdue to come out) might kick off in the meantime, but they have told me to contact them immediately if that happens and they'll see me as an emergency appointment. Also am aware i'm feeling a bit of relief and euphoria at the moment because i haven't had to go through with the dreaded and inevitable extractions...but I will have to go through them soon (and I definitely do want them doing) and I can't put them off any more beyond this next appointment, so the problem hasn't gone away or been resolved... I'm just hoping that this bit of space will allow me to get myself into a better headspace with it all and to use the time wisely to develop some decent coping strategies for the root canal in March. I'll keep updating this thread as it isn't over yet and it's really helping me to share my experiences on here. In fact this forum is amazing full stop, thank god I found it. Thankyou to everyone who has commented so far on this thread, and thankyou to those who set up this forum. You're helping so many people with this, it's an amazing resource. I'll leave it there for now but I'll update with anything I find /try on the holistic front in case useful for others. I'll be back to update when the dates are drawing near for the root canal and the extractions too.
Hey, this sounds like a really great appointment! :claps::claps::claps:

My recommendation is to take a look at Progressive Muscle Relaxation. It takes a while to learn it to be able to apply it immediately and quickly but you have a bit of time until your appointment so it may be worth a try. Another thing to look at may be Autogenic Training. You should be able to find videos on YT to both of these techniques.

Also posting our link to our article on Relaxation here on the page:

Thank you so much for your kind words, lovely to read that you found the forum helpful so far. Looking forward to read your updates 🙂
@Enarete Brilliant thankyou - am going to check this page out now and also do more googling around the techniques you mentioned :thumbsup!:
This sounds very positive and I like the sound of your dentist. I'm close to the Wales border - whereabouts are you? I could be interested in switching if it's more local than my surgery a good 90 minutes away.

Re the level of IV sedation, I had a similar stance of not too much but while sedated, I was able to point to the IV in my arm when I felt it wearing off and the dentist administered a little more so it is very easy to adjust the level of sedation to suit you.
Hi Karen, that's really reassuring to hear, about being able to let the dentist know by pointing to your arm when you felt it wearing off - that's exactly the kind of agency I feel I need with this too, that way you don't feel out of control.

I'm between Wrecsam and Chester, don't know if that's near you at all?
Re the level of IV sedation, I had a similar stance of not too much but while sedated, I was able to point to the IV in my arm when I felt it wearing off and the dentist administered a little more so it is very easy to adjust the level of sedation to suit you.

Great tip - one to add to our IV sedation page perhaps?

Oh, and if anyone would like to recommend their dentist, we do have a section on here where you can do so:

(the section for Wales is here: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/forum/forums/wales.38/ )
@letsconnect fab thank you, I have added my recommendation on there as there is already a thread recommending the dentist I go to - Dant Y Coed Dental Practice, it's a brilliant practice. I have seen Dr Calum Smith and Dr Adrian Thorp and they are both absolutely brilliant, as are all the staff there including the receptionist and the nurses, I cannot fault them and highly recommend for anxious patients.
@essella fantastic to hear it went so well!! All the staff sound like real gems, that's really heartening to hear :cloud9:. @Snowy recently mentioned that she came across some YouTube hypnosis videos that she found really helpful, maybe if she sees this thread she can share which ones...

Breathing techniques can also be helpful. There's a branch of yoga called Pranayama which focuses on breathing (don't worry if you can't sit cross-legged, there's nothing wrong with doing these techniques in other positions, for example sitting down on a chair). Here are some examples:

(sorry, my internet connection went as I was replying - just noticed your latest reply - thanks so much for the recommendation :))
@letsconnect brilliant thanks for the vid link, really helpful, will definitely check this out! :thumbsup!:

I am truely phobic too and this forum is the perfect place for support. I am only sorry i have only just read your thread.

I personally had iv sedation last year and it was amazing . Drip in and i was out no spinning at all . If i was talking to the dentist i was unaware. Once they removed the drip when extraction was complete.... i became aware and so relived it was over i cuddled the whole team.

Iv is brillant x
@letsconnect Hi - just seen your question as to what UTube video helped me. It was ‘Overcoming Dental Phobia’ and was a free hypnosis session. Really helped me, and I listened to it nearly every night for a week before my appointment.
Hi @Snowy, many thanks for getting back! Do you mean this one?

Well how did it go?! I have an extraction coming up and I share a lot of your fears. I will be sedatives with midazolam as well! Please let me know what it was like for you!

I also deal with the waking at night out of breath and panicked even haha which I have read and discovered it’s from hyperventilating not apnea! So too much air actually!