Coping at the dentist. Is IV a good option?

The short question:I can’t cope at the dentist going right back back in the chair. Has anyone tried IV dentistry or other options so that you can get tricky and difficult to reach work done and get through a one hour appointment?

The long explanation:
Went to the dentist a few weeks ago for a check up. The dentist is a bete noire for me as I had a really bad vertigo episode in there 4 years ago when MAV was starting to creep back into my life. I’ve not been for 2 years due to Covid as my dentist was only seeing emergencies. I was trying to be cool about it but my body knew and I felt pretty shaky but was okay during the check up and x-rays, camera etc. I need some work doing and on Friday had two roots taken out at the upper back right that a previous dentist had left in who did a bad extraction (might have been a wisdom tooth). The dentist was quick - only 20 minutes in surgery but I felt really nauseous and dizzy after and had to get my partner to pay so that I could go straight outside.

The car journey home was hellish and I had to go to bed with ice cold feet, feeling like a sledge hammer had bashed my body. It’s Sunday and I still feel awful: nausea, woozy, heavy head, high pitched noise in my ears . I have a one hour appointment on Thursday with a dental dam and have been warned I’ll have to lay right back for two difficult fillings where old ones have failed and need to have bonding - so I have to pay privately for this work. I am thinking of re booking and pushing the date for the work forward as I can’t face it feeling this ill but I worry if I push it forward it will feed into an even greater anxiety/MAV vicious circle. The dentist was also a bit shirty with me so I don’t feel supported. I don’t think I can cope with a full hour in the chair. I’m trying to find a solution as I really need this work done.

I feel my anxiety is rational as my head does spins when I’m lying back in the chair (as it does if I was to lay flat back with no cushion or pillow in floor or bed). I’m also feeling a bit sorry for myself as 4 years on I seem to be back to square one with the dentist and unable to do much. I know “this too will pass” but it has knocked me. I’m thinking of trying to find an IV dentist. has anyone tried this or another technique so that you could cope at the dentist? All replies welcome.

Tbh I had to look up the term ‘IV’ in this context because I was unsure. I’m surprised to find some dentists appear to actually dispense treatment under GA. Don’t think that’s very widespread. I know my brother was told he’d needed to be hospitalised for such treatments by his oh so expensive and extremely posh dental practice earlier this year. Nearest I thought dentists ever got to putting patients out was administering a couple Valium and I thought that went out of favour long since. Prior to checking on line I had no idea they might be set up to offer anti anxiety drugs IV through arduous treatment sessions. Am I right to assume that’s what you are referring to, IV anti anxiety drugs? Not actual GA?

Sorry I cannot help provide any answers. I can however sympathise with you over the ‘shirty’ dentist. Last time I saw mine he did one filling then pulled out of the Clean process because he said his poor back couldn’t cope with people who he cannot put right back in the chair so I only got half the job done because I too have tolerance levels when it comes to being tilted backwards.

Thanks Helen. For clarity IV dentistry is: Intravenous (IV) sedation refers to the administering of an anti-anxiety drug through the blood during your dental treatment. An IV sedation dentistry is sometimes referred to as ‘twilight’ or ‘sleep’ dentistry. However, rather than putting you to sleep, the sedative helps you to relax and feel at peace. I don’t think dental surgeries are allowed to do General Anaestethic (too many deaths as I recall), you need a referral to hospital.

Some dental clinics offer IV. A private dentist near where I used to live used it a lot as they specialised in elderly patients and doing 4 on 1 implants. I wonder if IV sedation makes Mav’ers feel worse though? I trialled Diazepam a few years back - my GP gave me a few to try in advance of the dentist. I took one and felt really dull but also sort of mashed out of my head - not pleasant. Not the wonderfullight feeling I’d expected ( my eldest uses them before big presentations at work). Couldn’t make it to the dentist feeling like that.
Ah yes! if I don’t put you fully back I’ll do my back in - I’ve heard that one a lot over the years! To be fair I guess it is a big occupational hazard for a dentist.

I feel pretty pathetic. The dentist said I should book a day when I had no MAV at all - oh I wish!

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I am guessing the references to GA at the dentist I saw weren’t within the U.K. As you so rightly state and my brother was told, here in the U.K. GA = hospital. I well remember having Valium orally in my twenties and the ‘oh so relaxed’ feeling. These days I’d suspect anything that makes me short of totally fully awake would have an adverse effect on the MAV, being a bit tired or ever so slightly tipsy most certainly would.

Oh I wouldn’t let yourself feel pathetic. Those that don’t have to live with this wretchedly awful condition don’t have a clue the impact it has on our everyday life. Lucky them!

As for the dentist’s suggestion. He’s obviously in Cloud Cuckoo land. Perhaps he took too much IV!

That sounds like a terrible situation to be in. I don’t know about IV dentistry and I don’t really have an answer. But if it was me, I would freak out by the thought of having something pumped into my body intravenously.

Can you take something calming orally before you go to the dentist? I have taken “rescue remedy” a Bach flower remedy and “passionflower”, a calming herb, before and I found them useful.

I had to be in the chair for eight hours a few years back. The dentist would not perform work that long without sedation. But, she used twilight drugs. I was still conscious, but remember none of it. Apparently, you could care less what happens while you are under those drugs. I was apparently quite entertaining.

Anyway, they gave me three pills to take at home one hour before my appointment and then three more on arrival at her office. I don’t remember taking the three at her office. I also don’t remember tearing the toilet paper holder off the wall in our bathroom when I tried to use it as a hand hold after I arrived home that night. My wife said the neighbor helped me into the house and up the stairs to bed. I don’t remember any of that either.

I felt great the next day. No anxiety over the dental visit, and up to that point I was borderline terrified of the dentist.

I have since conquered my fear of the dentist and even allow her to do some drilling without any numbing at all. The sedation drugs helped me get past and over the fear of the dentist, knowing that if I had a long session I could always ask fir them.

Better living through chemistry.

Thanks for taking the time to reply guys. I feel a bit like you Katharina I don’t like losing control or feeling that the drugs might make me ill. Glad rescue remedy worked for you. Wow, Tex that sounds like a mad escapade on the “twilight” drugs.Fantastic that it cured your dentist issues. Were you given some kind of Benzo’s like Diazepam?

For this week, I think I’ll call the dentist’s tomorrow and cancel the Thursday 1 hour appointment as my head is still whacked and although I could do a few things around the house today I still felt too “off” to take my usual daily walk and couldn’t face a car journey. I can’t see that I’ll feel good enough to go all the way back and down in the chair by Thursday.

Sorry for the problems you’re experiencing… I go to a great and very sensitive and sympathetic dentist (Chicago). It’s comforting to read that others have problems laying back flat. :slightly_smiling_face:

Hi Tex, when you cay “you could care less”, do you mean ‘you couldn’t care less’? I’m not sure what this means. There is a difference. Let me explain. If you could care less it means that there is a point even lower than your current level of caring that you could stoop to. For example, ‘I dislike my car but I could care less’, This means that I could dislike the car even more than I already do.
But if I dislike my car and I COULDN’T CARE LESS for it, it means that my care for the car is rock bottom and could not be even less.
So when you are in the dental chair, out of your tiny little mind on IV drugs, could you care less than you already do, or could you NOT care any less than you already do? Or don’t you know? Which is it?

The thought of having IV drugs channelled into me fills me with more dread than than actual dentistry itself. I recently saw a new dentist for a quick filling and he tipped me right back in the chair, at an jaunty angle I’d never before experienced.
The whole experience is daunting. The waiting room, the smell, the noise of the drill, the unusual situation, the angle of the chair, the numbing needle, the expectation and likelihood of pain, the dental nurse watching over the open mouthed patient, the fact that you’re so vulnerable. Every part of it is invasive and horrific.
I try to have only the most essential work carried out and even then, at great resistance.

You are correct. I’ve gotten sloppy with my grammar in my old age. I meant to say and should have said couldn’t care less. As in they could have cut off both arms and legs and I would have been just fine with it, until the drugs wore off of course. In the case of the dental work, the experience of the dentist chair was unknown to my conscious mind and the fear was never experienced. The pain was never experienced because she still used the numbing medication, whatever it was even though I wouldn’t have remembered it. So the experience was overall like a hole in my memory.

Ah yes, I understand now, and I really wasn’t attacking you… I just wanted to know my friend. That dental visit sounds awful lol. All the best, Anthony

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I didn’t take it personal. I actually appreciate your pointing it out so that I could clear up the misunderstanding. I would correct the grammar in the post, but then someone reading it in the future would be confused about what you were saying.