Sedation doesn’t work

  • Thread starter AgitatedLeopard
  • Start date


Junior member
Jul 7, 2020
Hi! I have a huge phobia of the dentist... a long history so buckle in!
6 years ago I needed a number of treatments including a root canal and tooth removal. I was sedated (intravenously) for the tooth removal, which went well. The second sedation did not go so well. Although I wasn’t fully aware, I thought I was having a nightmare and tried to kick/punch out whilst screaming and had to be pinned down. I was referred for general anaesthetic which was approved. I had a number of fillings and the nerve taken out of the tooth which required the root canal, and had the tooth cleaned/filled while I was awake but on diazepam. I knew it wasn’t going to hurt but still struggled and hyperventilated through it.

6 years on I am in the same situation. I went in January 2019 as a hole had started to appear on a front tooth, I was getting an abscess on a molar and need another molar removed. I tried to have it done at the dentist but was crying so she wouldn’t come near me. Fast forward to July 2019, I was sedated again (even though I told them it wouldn’t work) and before they had even done anything to me I was having a panic attack under sedation. They could not work on me.

what is different this time, however, is that I no longer fit the criteria for general anaesthetic (apparently they will only do removals if necessary. it’s now July 2020 and I’m no closer to having the work done and am at risk of losing one of my front teeth.

i wondered if there is anything that anyone else is aware of or in the same situation and how it was dealt with? Please help!


Staff member
Verified dentist
Oct 25, 2005
Sounds like you need a specialist doing the sedation, either a very experienced dental sedationist or an anaesthetist. A different sedation technique will probably work but it'll involve either a combination of drugs or a different sedative drug than the standard midazolam.
Hopefully your dentist will be able to refer you to somebody appropriate.

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