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Using anti-anxiety medication to manage phobia during dental visits

Susanne

Susanne

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 13, 2014
Messages
101
Location
USA
Are most dentists comfortable with phobic patients using a low dose of anti-anxiety medication such as Ativan to get through appointments, particularly those that are a bit more involved/frightening for the patient, such as an extraction?

My regular dentist has said he will not prescribe anti-anxiety medication if he were to take out my wisdom teeth. His only offering would be nitrous oxide, which I've had previously and did not notice any difference in my anxiety level. About the only thing the nitrous has ever done for me is made my legs feel heavy. My GP/family doctor prescribed the lowest dose of Ativan for me on two separate occasions when my anxiety levels were quite high and it helped tremendously. I only took one pill on both occasions and that was enough to break the cycle of anxiety/extreme muscle tension that had built up due to ongoing stressful events.

I'd prefer to go to my own dentist for my wisdom teeth, but I'd also like the option of using a medication I know works for me rather than one that doesn't (nitrous oxide).
 
Enarete

Enarete

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Sep 18, 2017
Messages
2,527
HI Susanne,

sorry to read your dentist refused to prescribe you medication despite you knowing it works for you. I can't see much sense in pushing nitrous if you tried it out and it didn't work for you. Having an anti anxiety medication prescribed directly by the dentist is always the best thing as they are the ones to treat you but in your case if your dentist doesn't support you I can get why you would want see a GP. I however think that the most dentists would react with understanding and help you finding ways to cope. From reading around here on the forum, getting an anti anxiety medication prescribed seems not to be a big deal for many dentists, but it might be also depending on the country you live in and their regulations.

All the best wishes
 
M

MountainMama

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 1, 2018
Messages
2,050
My dentist doesn't offer nitrous, but will prescribe valium. I didn't want to take valium, so I had my GP prescribe ativan when I had to have an extraction done at the dentist, instead of the oral surgeon.

Are you not comfortable asking your GP? Mine knows about my anxiety and said she would be happy to prescribe a low dose of ativan before dental procedures if I needed it.

I use nitrous at the oral surgeon and I have found it to not work as well if the titration is not high enough. At my last surgery, they started it up, and when the surgeon came in to give the numbing shots, I told him I didn't feel any different this time, and was still super anxious (clenching my hands together, knotted muscles, etc.). He turned it up a little and I could tell immediately and was able to relax.
 
T

tess456plum

Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2010
Messages
42
Location
USA
Hello-
I just read your question and for what it’s worth my dentist is fine with me taking Xanax before visits. It helps me a lot and I am able to get through my treatments ok. My regular doctor prescribes it for me. Hope this helps!
 
C

comfortdentist

Well-known member
Verified dentist
Joined
Jul 19, 2009
Messages
2,879
Location
Miami, Fl
"Are most dentists comfortable with phobic patients using a low dose of anti-anxiety medication such as Ativan to get through appointments, particularly those that are a bit more involved/frightening for the patient, such as an extraction? "
The ones I know -Yes
 
M

Mike

Member
Verified dentist
Joined
Aug 24, 2019
Messages
87
Location
Scotland
Yes I’m happy as long as I know about it before hand so appropriate consent can be gained. I’d usually rather prescribe myself than have than have the patients GP/family doc do so :)
 
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