If you have a dental fear or phobia, you know that the best way to overcome that fear is with an oral medication, however, having knowledge when it comes to particular medications is not just powerful, but empowering as well.

According to the American Dental Association, several medications are available with a prescription. These include Ativan®, Sonata®, Halcion®, Valium®, Versed®, and Vistaril®. Except for Sonata® and Vistaril®, these medications are called benzodiazepines and are prescribed for treating agitation, insomnia, muscle spasms, seizures, and anxiety. When taken in a small dose, benzodiazepines are very effective for the issues listed above as well as dental procedures.

Depending on how much is given, dosages often vary, the drugs will start to take effect from about 20 to 60 minutes. Some varieties of prescribed medications will give you an amnesic property, which means that you will not remember much, if anything, of your dental visit once the procedure has been completed. Because you may feel slightly groggy after the dental treatment, it is recommended that you have someone drive you to and from the appointment.

Nitrous oxide, laughing gas, or inhalation conscious sedation, has been used in dental work for almost 100 years and is excellent for pain, however it is less effective when it comes to anxiety. Nitrous Oxide or oxygen sedation is very safe and mixed with oxygen to give you a euphoric or light-headed feeling. All of your bodily functions remain normal, and while you may feel tingly, the effects will wear off immediately after the dental procedure allowing you to drive yourself home. Sometimes your dentist will use a combination of nitrous oxide along with an oral sedative to give you the best dental experience.

Dental surgical specialists, periodontists, oral surgeons, and occasionally a general dental use IV, or Conscious Sedation, also called Deep Conscious Sedation. However, practitioner who uses IV sedation must be specially trained and certified as it is directed into the blood stream intravenously. Because blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are altered during this type of sedation, there is more risk involved. The drugs that are used for conscious sedation are stronger, which may make amnesia more prominent.

If you would like more information regarding dental sedation techniques, schedule an appointment with your dentist who can determine what type of dental sedation would be best for you. 

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