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Scaring myself silly!



Junior member
Apr 17, 2021
I finally got up my nerve to go to the dentist after years of avoiding it because of panic attacks and “white coat syndrome”. I made it through the exam and X-rays, even though my blood pressure was elevated. I now need a root canal and crowns. My dentist is very understanding of my anxiety and offered me oral sedation for the procedure, saying it would help with my anxiety and keep my blood pressure under control. . Now the “what if’s “ are beginning! I’ve never taken anything like that, and have been reading what the side effects can be and what problems you could have. I read if you have glaucoma, you shouldn’t take it. I haven’t been to the eye dr either, so I don’t know if I have glaucoma, but what if I do? Could it be dangerous? Would it be better to only use the nitrous and avoid the oral sedation? I always overanalyze things to the point where I am totally panicked! Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
First off, well done on making that first appointment & following through! That’s a huge step & you should be so proud!
I can’t speak to the safety of the oral sedation, but I’m going to assume your dentist wouldn’t recommend if he/she didn’t think it was safe. It sounds as if your dentist actually feels the oral sedation is a great option for you to help with the anxiety.

As a side note, I am petrified of the dentist & just dragged myself back last month after suffering through a very agonizing toothache. I needed two root canals. I was so upset and scared. Long story short, the root canal procedure is honestly a piece of cake. I had local anesthetic and laughing gas & the procedures caused me zero pain whatsoever. The anticipation was way worse than the actual procedure. I feel a million times better now- no more pain in my mouth! Taking care of the root canals also set in motion my return to dental health- crowns done, exam/X-rays/cleaning done & I have a plan to continue on with taking care of my mouth in the future. All the best to you! I promise you’ll do great & you’ll be so glad you had it fixed.
Thank you so much for your response! I know I am building this up in my mind to be so much worse than it will be! I’ve actually had several root canals when I was younger, even without nitrous, so I know i can do it. I just keep playing “what if” scenarios in my mind that add to my anxiety. It doesn’t help that my appointment is not for two more weeks...giving me lots of time to dwell on it! I think I’m leaning to just using the nitrous as long as it will help control my anxiety and blood pressure. I’ll call the dentist, I guess, to discuss if this would be enough. This is a new dentist for me, so I don’t want him to give up on me before I even get started, but he seems very patient and kind, so I think it will work out!
That is awesome that you are on the road to better dental health! Great job for facing your fears! It is encouraging to hear your experience, and I look forward to being where you are now! Best wishes for the future!
Google is a blessing and a curse isn't it :)

Oral benzodiazepines (as used in oral sedation) have been linked to a slightly increased severity of one particular kind of glaucoma in elderly patients. It isn't especially dangerous but they would need surgery to sort it out.

There's no solid evidence that they make it more likely to develop glaucoma in the first place especially for a one off course like for dental treatment.

If there is nitrous available then I'd be inclined to try that first because I think it's a "nicer" sedation for dentistry than oral sedation. Pros and cons of both are explained in FAQs here.