Most commonly, oral sedation (usually in the form of anti-anxiety pills also known as“happy pills”) is prescribed for relieving anxiety in the hours immediately before a dental appointment. An anti-anxiety or a sleeping pill taken an hour before the dental appointment.
While all benzodiazepines act as sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs, some are more targeted at brain areas which control sleep and wakefulness, while others are more specifically targeted at brain areas which control emotions such as fear. The classification of whether a benzodiazepine is sedative-hypnotic or anti-anxiety is to some extent an arbitrary one, as the boundaries are quite fluid. As a rule of thumb, in higher doses benzos act like sedatives and may promote sleep, while in lower doses, they simply reduce anxiety.
Benzodiazepines are Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants (for example, there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing–which is good, because if your heart isn’t racing, you’ll feel calmer). They should not be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. Don’t self-medicate and stick to the dose your dentist or doctor recommends (which may be a higher dose than specified on the drug package insert. Reason being that the package inserts recommend a dose to induce sedation or sleep in a non-stress situation such as the home environment). It is possible to overdose on these things, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or even death.
In case this sounds scary–unless you make a deliberate attempt to overdose, it’s extremely unlikely for any dangerous symptoms to develop. The reason why benzodiazepines are so widely used is precisely because they’re safe.
People for whom benzodiazepines have worked well describe them as“working wonders”, as having a calming and relaxing effect, or as making you feel“out of it”. Giddiness, confusion and saying silly things are also common. Benzodiazepines may make you forget large parts of what happened while you were under their influence, which can be handy if you don’t want to remember very much! However, this effect is not reliable.
Drs.Khoury & Cabrera use Triazolam (Halcion), which is a medication that can greatly minimize anxiety. In a relaxed state, you will still be able to communicate with the Doctor, Hygienist or staff member while treatment is being performed. Triazolam (Halcion) is safe, effective and wears off rapidly after the procedure, you should be aware of some of the precautions and considerations.
Oral Sedation will not be administered unless the patient has an escort after taking this medication. A special medical history form as well as an oral sedation consent form will be needed.