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Dentistry/IV sedation for dental phobia

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Question
Hello and thank you for your help. I am interested to know if IV sedation is an effective treatment for someone that is extremely fearful of dental work. I am a 55 year old woman who has avoided dental work for many years, due to my phobia. I have found a dentist that does sedation dentistry, but I'm still not comfortable about having the work done. The plan is to do the upper part of my mouth first, and then hopefully the lower part next year. (a money issue) I will have several teeth pulled, the rest crowned, and a partial made. I want this work done very badly, my teeth look awful! I picked this particular dentist because he does cerec crowns. I have not been able to tolerate impressions for quite some time, and have been avoiding general dental work. I have actually gotten pretty good at having fillings, root canals, etc. but anything involving impressions I cannot do.

So here is what I'm wondering. Is it common for people to have a problem with being sedated? I have had a couple of procedures that I've woken up as they were being done. One was a c-section, the other an endoscopy. Now I am very fearful of anything involving sedation. The dentist I'm seeing has even talked about bringing in an anesthesiologist, to do general anesthesia, as we have discussed my problems with sedation and he is concerned. I worry about the safety of general anesthesia, he said he has only had one other patient that has required it. It is very upsetting to have a problem with so many fears, when I want the work done so badly. It is a horrible feeling though, to wake up during a procedure, when you have been assured (and feel relieved!) that you will sleep through something that is so scary for you.

I hope I am not asking questions that are outside the boundaries of what you are familiar with. I have an appointment tomorrow, and I'm sure the dentist will be wanting to schedule the work requiring the sedation. I was asking in the hopes that you could give me some advice to help set my mind at rest.

Thank you so much for your time.

Answer
here is what i tell my patients...you have to be careful with IV sedation. you want someone using it who really is trained for this. there are dentist anesthesiologists who go an extra few years to specialize in this. these are the dentists i refer to. i would choose IV sedation over general anesthesia any time. it is usually enough and the risks are far lower there. a regular anesthesiologist can administer this. so that is my best opinion...no general anesthesia, only IV sedation and make sure you are using someone with lots of experience and training.

good luck

jeff dalin, dds

Dentistry

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Jeff Dalin DDS

Expertise

general dentistry questions with topics ranging from cosmetic dentistry to dentistry for children

Experience

Fellowships in American College of Dentists, the Academy of General Dentistry, and the International College of Dentists.

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