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IV Sedation - Please Help



Junior member
Feb 1, 2024
United Kingdom
Hello, this is my first time writing in a forum so I am sorry if I did anything wrong x

I have a dentist phobia due to severe trauma and haven't allowed a dentist to touch my teeth since I was a kid, I'm 23 now and I need to get 2 extractions and 2 fillings. I wanted to get general anesthesia but it will take 1 year just on the waiting list to be considered by a hospital, and 2000£ I can't afford it.

I have grown an eating disorder and suicidal thoughts over the fear of my teeth hurting and not having a choice but to go to the dentist. In my head, I'd rather end my life than allow a dentist to touch my teeth, and that's scary. I can't live the way I am at the moment so I am considering IV sedation for the first time.

But I am scared, I am afraid of feeling scared and not being able to say "stop. I am petrified of remembering any of the procedures, I don't want to remember any of them, I don't want to feel scared or helpless.

Can anyone who did IV sedation please tell me how it went? I have read some stories, but I figured it would be more personal if I shared my situation.

Any help is help x dentist or patient x Thank you in advance for taking the time to reply x
I had an extraction under IV a few weeks ago and it was brilliant. In a way it could have been GA as I remembered nothing. But recovery was easier of course. The anticipation was far worse. And having done it once it makes the thought of similar procedures not at all terrifying.

What is your relationship with your dentist like? Can you discuss your fears?

I have written about my experience on this site, as have others. I think you are doing the right thing by posting on this forum. I found the virtual hand-holding really helped me.

Do ask any specific questions.
You are going to be absolutely fine. That's what everyone told me, I only half believed them, but they were right of course.

Oh wow really? I'm glad your fear of it went away after you went through it, I hope the same happens for me, could you link me to where you wrote your experience?

Did your dentist help you stay calm when you were getting the sedation? Like when they put the stuff on you etc?

My old dentist is nice but does no sedation, I ended up contacting a dentist out of desperation who has been nothing but accommodating and kind via email. Offering to call me and talk about the IV procedures as well as the general anesthesia information. And were very understanding of the severity of my mental state because of this, but I have never physically visited them. I'm considering asking to call them about the IV sedation or ask them if I can visit them and speak to them before the actual procedure.

Do the IV Sedation for the love of all things!

This dentist sounds excellent. Going in to the surgery to speak to them might help to dimish the fear of the unknown.

I had oral sedation the night before and I was still under the influence of it in the morning. It helped a lot. the IV needle business was very easy (I don't have a fear of needles)
I was scared out of my mind when I had IV sedation for wisdom teeth removal. But once I went through with it I realized it was the best thing ever. It wasn't like going to sleep or losing control, it was more like just skipping ahead in time. You go from "okay, let's get started" to "okay, we're all done" in a split second.
I did IV sedation to get all four of my wisdom teeth out at once and I highly recommend it! It cost me several thousand dollars out of pocket because my insurance would only cover like one tooth at a time, but it was well worth the cost to only go through the procedure and recovery once, in my personal opinion of course, it was the right thing for me. :) I also had a few fillings at the same time, and I woke up with some swelling from the numbing agent in my lip, but it was good to get it all done while asleep.

I was nervous as hell going in, in fact at one point as they were prepping the IV, the dentist started talking to me and I was super fixated on controlling my anxiety, avoiding a panic attack, and just breathing. The very kind anesthesiologist said "She's not hearing anything you're saying right now", to the dentist because he very keenly recognized what I was going through. Obviously not everyone is going to recognize or speak on behalf of the anxious so I definitely recommend talking to them about your anxiety beforehand and asking them to provide all of the details, consent, and information before the day of your procedure so you have time to process it all and don't have to worry about listening on the day. They can't tell you anything after the surgery because you'll be too out of it to remember.

I'm also absolutely terrified of waking up from sedation and ironically the last thing I remember was asking, "I won't remember anything, right?" ;D Some thoughts which helped for me; they still use numbing so you won't feel anything, and you don't have to remember the needles either, apart from the IV one, plus sedatives also tend do an excellent job of quashing anxiety for you once they kick in, you just have to carry yourself that far. Most likely your memory will be very fuzzy for the next 24 hours and you will not remember anything after they turn on the sedation to the IV. It's a wonderful thing!

I have a photo of myself with a mouth full of gauze that I don't remember taking, I recall a very patient nurse supporting me on the walk to my roommate's car, and then snuggling with my cat in my own bed blissfully still numb for a few hours after I got home.

I also know the crippling feeling of helplessness, and I think one of the biggest hurdles for providers is knowing what exactly we need or what will help us, because it is a bit different for everyone, so I try to figure out what I might need to ask for ahead of time to prepare. "I am very anxious, it would help me if...", I've asked for a few moments alone, I've even done jumping jacks in the corner. I am a work in progress, I still have loads of dental anxiety, but these sedated extractions were one of the easiest procedures I've had to do, in the end. ❤️ If I ever need another extraction, I'm for sure doing it again.
@cloudsinviolet hello lovely,

I hope you’re doing ok.

I had my wisdom teeth out under GA, and I had a filling done today with IV sedation. I was really worried about the sedation as I was scared I wouldn’t be able to communicate with the dentist (who was wonderful). It was totally fine. Promise you. I was in a right state but the IV helped lots, I felt calm, a bit drowsy but could here and respond, and was able to ask for a little break - not due to pain at all- I got a little anxious about noise, nurse held my hand, upped my dose a tiny bit and was grand. Honestly you are aware enough to cope and feel calm but say what you need.

I was worried, but honestly it’s been life changing for me - enabling that I woll
Be able to go to dentist knowing I have this option for treatment is life changing.

You’ve got this x
thank you so much @feelingbetter , @oneby , @PlatypusBear and @Veebs84 for all of your feedback on this

i have emailed the dentist and asked if i can arrange a meeting with them to ask questions and will likely be taking the IV sedation route which has helped my anxiety a bit given it can be done sooner , while also making me extremely anxious

i wonder why most people dont remember but some people do like @Veebs84 and a few from other forums, because i know for a fact i dont want to remember any of it and i wonder if the dentist can control whether or not i will remember, thats my biggest fear at the moment about it at the moment

i am still glad that if people remember they end being able to handle it , its reassuring to hear that for sure

i hope that they can put me in lalaland and i wake up with it all done and over with , i would love not to have this crippling phobia over dentists , i dont like hospitals or needles either but i can handle that anxiety and be brave , but the dentist truly is my kriptonite , i currently only eat softer foods , if i eat at all , i cant see myself in a mirror , i have codeine bc in my head i could get in pain at any given time and have go without choice , if i dont hurt myself in the mean time , and its so scary

its all so much , and i hope i can be here one day telling people about my sucess story
I'm no expert but I remember my dentist telling me beforehand that there are different 'depths' of IV sedation because they made sure my insurance approved me for several levels just in case they needed them, but he explained that they generally use the lightest level they can to get the desired effect (which for me was not remembering). Some people just want enough sedative to lower their anxiety so they don't care about what's happening, while others want to be 'knocked out' so they don't remember.

I hope you get that time scheduled to ask questions as I'm sure they'll be able to answer and explain it to you better than I can, and it'll be good for them to understand what you need so they can make it happen for you too. Best of luck, let us know how everything goes ❤️
Good to learn about the different depths of IV sedation - I didn't know that before.
@cloudsinviolet I remember little bits - but also a funny feeling that it was all very quick! I did 100% feel
Like I could stop the process at any time, which was really important to me, as that has been a big trauma reaction for me in past. My
Dentist knew this, so maybe my sedation was tailored to this? Dunno. I didn’t ask as was operating on a “I can’t think about this too much mode”.

But I promise - no pain, only the tiniest memories of little bits and was able to say “hold on for a
The best is iv sedation very like general but safer . Do it
@Jackieallen does IV sedation make you act silly after you wake ? I’m nervous about the procedure but also nervous about doing IV as I don’t wanna make an ass of myself
@Natty1980 I just had IV sedation for wisdom teeth today and when I came out I was pretty groggy and a little unsteady on my feet, but was thinking pretty clearly almost immediately. Didn't say or do anything embarrassing as far as I'm aware!
@Jackieallen does IV sedation make you act silly after you wake ? I’m nervous about the procedure but also nervous about doing IV as I don’t wanna make an ass of myself
I didn't at all . A little sleepy on way home that's all .
as someone who has a huge phobia of dentist, iv sedation was the best thing I could have done for my last tooth extractions.
Just to help ease your mind some I’ll say I didn’t feel a thing. The prep was so much easier than when they numb you for a filling or even just a cleaning. I have a fear of needles also but no problems for this I just turned away. I had problems getting numb, which is where most of my fear came from and why they recommended anesthesia last time. Well I woke up mid oral surgery and can tell you that even then I didn’t feel a thing. I just remember the look on the nurses faces, the Elvis music blaring in the background and the dentist going to town working on my mouth, then was out again and when it was over, I was shocked they had done anything it all. It’s like a quick lil nap.

The anxiety before hand was worse than the whole ordeal. I would suggest try to really relax before hand and follow the rules they give you not to drink or eat past certain time etc and please make sure someone that is patient and caring brings you so they don’t cause you any extra anxiety. (That’s a whole other story of trauma at the dentist) I’m sure you will be so grateful you did sedation when it’s all done. Best of luck.
@Natty1980 one time I woke up and was so happy and dancing in the wheel chair on the way out. Another time my anxiety was built up so bad before hand and the person who brought me was a jerk that it made it all worse and I woke up sobbing but that was likely from the trauma with the person who brought me. I think it all depends on how you’re feeling when you go in. Try to relax and you’ll be fine.
i had it done years ago, i had fears but all that happened was i don't remember my tooth taken out, felt okay afterwards, no side effects but did take it easy the rest of the day. It was strange, i thought they hadn't even started and i was done and ready to leave, even though it was half an hour later!
i just want to say thank you to everyone who has commented on this post

i have gone to meet the dentist who will be performing IV sedation and they are all very nice, the clinic looks cosy too which is nice. im currently trying to get some mental health support before i go ahead with booking the sedation since the very thought of going makes me suicidal and just ready to throw up and cry, so i was advised to do some work on my head before going. But i really appreciate all the feedback I have received.

they did say they cannot control if you will remember the procedure or not and thats currently the thing that scares me the most about it, not knowing if i will remember, and if i do, afraid i will back out of it ;w;
@cloudsinviolet I feel you on this. I’ve chosen to do IV sedation also as I’m just hoping I’ll be one of the lucky ones that doesn’t remember any part of the procedure. My doctor has got me on an anxiety meds. Which has finally kicked in and is helping my sanity a lot. Maybe some meds could help ya deal a bit better with what’s to come? This group has also helped me. Such an amazing site with lots of advice and support