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Laughing Gas and Valium to No Avail!



Junior member
Mar 26, 2006
I just had a root canal using valium and the gas with very poor results. Now the dentist wants to up the valium to 15mg night before and 15 before the crown prep. Is this going to do any better for me? I used 10mg each time last time. Also is it possible that due to my nervousness the numbing injections do not work? The whole process was extremely painful and I need 4 more done. The bottle of whiskey and my needle nose pliers are looking better all the time.
Hi there :), I'm in a bit of a hurry, but have a look at this thread (especially the response from Mike):

[out-of-date link removed]

It's possible that the tooth was infected, in which case a sedative dressing could be placed and/or antibiotics prescribed to reduce infection prior to doing the root treatment. Root canal treatment is usually not painful, so in all likelihood there were special circumstances (like an infection) which prevented the numbing from working. Some dentists seem to be better able to deal with "hot" (infected) teeth than others.

Did you tell your dentist that you were not getting numb, and if so, what was his/her reaction?

If you still felt extremely nervous after the valium (which doesn't work particularly well for a lot of people) and the gas, and if the dentist's behavior wasn't to blame for your nervousness (i. e. you trust and like your dentist),it might be an idea to look into IV sedation. This is a lot more predictable than valium (there's no comparison, really). I'm just wondering what your relationship with this dentist is like (because you referred to him/her as "the dentist", rather than "my dentist"). Do you feel you can openly discuss these things with him/her?
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The tooth was not infected and I had no pain until he started working on it. I am new to this town and my wife sees him and had mentioned my phobia to him with his responce being he treats alot of phobic patients. I do not trust any dentist and not sure I will be able to ever find one I can trust. He knew I was in pain but I told him to keep going because I didn't want to go through it all again with the same results. And yes i still feel extremely anxious even with gas and valium. IV is not an option because I am also very needle phobic. WOnder if the pill would work for me?
Found a different dentist and he uses triazalon ( not sure if I spelled it correctly) so the crown prep is on again. Could a person take like some strong oral pain reliever before the procedure to help also?
You could take some ketaprofen or ibuprofen both before and afterwards. Just make sure there are no contraindications that apply to you, and don't exceed the maximum dose. You can ask your pharmacist for advice :).
Sorry to hear all the troubles you are having at the dentist. I am a big dental phobic too but I have found a dentist that is wonderful and has helped me get over my fears. I had a root canal done last year and it took 6 needles to get me numb!!! :scared: I wasn't given anything to relax me either. I just kind of jumped in with both feet. :scared:

I had my tooth prepped for the crown just last Tuesday and it is not nearly as bad as having the actual root canal done. The tooth is already dead (no nerves) so there is no pain. My dentist still froze the area but it was fine. My gums were sore for a few days but it was nothing compared to the actual root canal. It took 1.5 hours to get the tooth prepped. You will get a temporary crown (I think, I did) and the next appointment to have the permanent one placed my dentist said will only take 25 minutes. ;D

Hang in there, I'm sure you will do great.
rev4rev said:
Found a different dentist and he uses triazalon ( not sure if I spelled it correctly) so the crown prep is on again. Could a person take like some strong oral pain reliever before the procedure to help also?

Triazolam is Halcion... oral sedation. I had it before and found it to work ok... It distors your perception of time so the whole thing goes by in what seems like 5 minutes (when it was really an hour) but getting the dose is not easy, and they tend to give a lower dose first. Lower dosages will not give you the proper amnesia effect that some phobics are after. You can try it and if you find that when the dentist is ready to start you are not feeling well enough with it, you can always walk away and go back another day.

WRT to the IV sedation... I had that also... and thats all I get now (I'm lucky I guess because its covered completely, and being in the military our dental clinic is in the hospital) I know you said you are a needle phobic as well.... but I can assure you that the IV needle is very very small and well, it doesnt really look like a needle anyway... more like a little plastic shunt that they put into your vein. Its in very quick and does not hurt at all. For me, I am way more phobic of the dental needle (and all the other things like the damn) but the IV sedation takes it ALL away! If you are brave enough to try the IV sedation, you will not remember one shred of the dental appointment from the point where they inject the medicine into the IV. You won't remember the dental needle at all, or the drill, or the damn, or anything until they sit you up ready to go. For some severe phobics its really the way to go.

The only discomfort I can remember from the IV sedation was when the medicine is first injected, it kind of feels burny going up through your vein. And you might have a little bit of a bruise on your wrist. Its not bad though... just feels kind of curious when the medicine is put in. You start to feel spinny a bit and see little pingy flashes of light and then next thing you know you are getting ready to leave to go home! All the while you were able to answer questions and do what the dentist asks you... its almost like sending someone else to your appointment! :)

Don't give up on the IV option... it provides the best sedation level. You might not be that happy with oral sedation like Triazolam if you want to be completely "out of it".

Also I was told (by Gordon actually) that anti-anflamatory pain analgesics are the best - like Motrin (Ibuprophen) I am taking 2 x 400mg ones an hour before I go to my next appointment myself to try and prevent any post op soreness.
Way too afraid of needles for IV. It isn't the pain it is the thought. I freak out when a bug bites me. I have a prescription for vicodan and was wondering if that would help knock me out along with the sedation pill? Affraid sedation pill will not work alone. Starting to chicken out on the crown prep now and it is ripping up my tongue from the rough tooth. Would some of the temp filling stuff work till I get some more courage from some were?
rev4rev said:
I have a prescription for vicodan and was wondering if that would help knock me out along with the sedation pill?

Please don't try mixing drugs on your own!! That could be very dangerous! You don't want to chance oversedation or worse! Vicodan is a strong enough pain killer to knock a horse on its butt! Mixing that with oral sedation medication could be very very bad!

My suggestion is to go with the oral sedation. My dentist prescribed 3 pills... one for the night before, and 1 an hour before the appt. The extra pill was in case I was not sedated enough. You can ask if they will prescribe an extra for you as well to bring along. That way if you dont feel sedated enough, they will give you that extra one and then wait a bit more.

Or you can try to get nitrous oxide before the IV sedation... that way you wont really know that you're getting the IV.