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Would IV sedation work when Valium has failed?



Former Member
Hi all,

Don't know if anybody can help me here, but I need some questions answered on IV sedation...

I have a severe dental needle phobia and a not-as-bad normal needle phobia, and after 8 years of avoiding the dentist, I need a small filling.

My current dentist is pretty good and I trust her as much as I can with any dentist, but we talked about my fear of needles and discussed me taking valium before my appointment. I got ever so worked up in the waiting room, but two minutes before the appoinment arrived, the valium kicked in and I felt kind of calm. That was until I saw the needle. She tried to hide it from me, which in retrospect was the worst thing she could have done because my phobia of being out of control was added to my phobia of the needle itself. So the next thing I know, I'm having a mad panic in the chair, struggling to run, and the poor dentist actually had to hold me down because I was launching myself at the needle so fast in my efforts to get away that I was in danger of spearing myself in the eye with it (i don't blame her for this lol, I can see why she had to do it, but it really didnt help the whole out of control thing, and took me straight into flashbacks of dental needles when I was a kid)

So then I was in tears in the chair, feeling like a total idiot, heart pounding, feeling like I was going to throw up, the whole works. My dentist was very understanding, calmed me down to the point I was safe to leave the surgery). She then referred me to another practise with sedation facilities.

Which is where I discover that the sedation isn't to get through the dental treatment, but to get me through the novocaine injection. And i'm still terrified. I went there today for a consultation appointment and the whole thing just scares the hell out of me. The dentist seems ok, understands aboiut severe phobias, including my phobia about even really stupid stuff like getting x-rayed.

What worries me is that I was pretty out of it on valium, is Iv sedation really that different? can it really take away the blind panic flight thing I get? And I'm concerned that I won't handle the feeling of being totally out of control that might come with the heavy sedation.

ANy answers on this would be appreciated, sorry to waffle on a bit :)
Hi there [image] ,

oral valium is actually pretty useless for a lot of people, because some people will not respond much to the standard dose and giving a higher dose can be dangerous. Also it's hard to judge when the peak effect will take place, and it takes ages to wear off completely.

IV sedation is a different animal altogether, because it can be given in small increments and then stopped once the desired level of relaxation or sedation has been achieved. And it doesn't take long to take full effect. Especially with severe needle phobia, IV sedation can be a great option. However, apparently a small percentage of people will try and fight the effects of sedation.

If you hate the whole idea of sedation, there may be another option: the Wand. The wand is essentially a computer controlled injection. This means that the injection is guaranteed to be slow and therefore less likely to cause any pain. Obviously it is possible for the dentist to control the speed himself with a standard injection, but the idea of the wand is to take out the "human error" in the speed of the injection and therefore ensure a reproducable 'painless' injection every time. Where the wand really excels is in its looks - because it doesn't look like a traditional syringe, many people with a needle phobia find it much easier to tolerate injections with the wand. If you're in the UK, you can e-mail the folks at https://www.dentalsky.com

Hope this helps :)
I was also a needle phobic as well as afraid of the procedures during dental visits.
The IV Sedation is really great. I know you may be afraid of needles and that you may be uncomfortable with the thought of having an IV but the ones they use are itty bitty. I squinched up my face and closed my eyes and made ready for the pain (which turned out to feel like a quick pinch then nothing). I've had paper cuts that hurt worse. They rub stuff on your hand to keep it from hurting when they put in the IV. I felt like an eegit. I still can't watch them put one in but I normally have one of them distract me and they do it quickly so I don't wig out.
I love nitrous. I'm in complete control, I just don't care. I've even fallen asleep on the stuff in the chair while being worked on. If you don't like needles ask for the happy gas it works wonders! Plus, you can drive home yourself afterwards...

Good Luck
Hi again,

thanks both of you for your replies, I really don't think i can handle the IV thing, the whole sedation thing smacked of hospitals (guess what.... another phobia). And I can't see myself being able to handle even the itty bitty needle either, sigh, but ty nicole, and I'm glad you have found a way round your problems :)

I think the wand is going to be the way to go. I'm sticking my head in the sand for a couple of weeks, then I'm going to do some research on the wand, see if anybody around here uses it.

Ty again, both :)
The Wand still has a needle, BTW (you've gotta get the local anaesthetic in there somehow ;)), but if it's the syringe that puts you off, it may just be the ticket. Someone with a needle phobia e-mailed me a little while ago and said that the Wand worked for them, anyway!
lol i know, but it might just be different enough from a normal needle to not spark off the horrible flashbacks I get with syringe needles. Am hoping anyway......

and if that doesnt work then maybe hitting me over the head with a large hammer and doing the work while i'm out cold might ;)

trouble is, it turns out to be much more indepth than i thought, this phobia. it's not just a needle phobia or even just a dentist phobia, but it's everything to do with medical, and my last appointment seems have to have triggered a host of almost continual flashbacks and nightmares. hence my latest way of dealing of sticking my head in the sand and hoping it will all go away.
If I were you I would ask for the laughing gas. They just put a little thing over your nose and you breath it in. It makes you extremely relaxed. I've fallen asleep on the stuff in the chair and then by the time they come in to give you the numbing stuff you are not nervous and then a tad bit of apprehension then your fine again. The laughing gas works wonders. Still if you don't look while they give you the iv it won't mess with you as much and the anxiety melts away almost instantly!
(I could become addicted if I keep going to the dentist) lol

Best of luck! Go for the laughing gas! It works!

Needlephobic, I know where you're coming from, but I would try the IV sedation. One of the greatest things about it is that one of the drugs is a amnesiac and you won't remember anything about what happened once the drugs are administered once you wake up. It's wonderful. Get them to give you the laughing gas to relax you and you won't even care if they're sticking a needle the size of your arm in. Just turn your head and you won't even feel it. Then waa laa, you wake up and it's over and done!!