Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting thedentist? You may be a candidate for Sedation Dentistry. Dr. Haddad is BoardCertified to administer (oral conscious) sedation, commonly referred to as“Sleep Dentistry.”

Sedation Dentistry

Advantages to patients include:

Treatment is completed when you are in a more relaxed mood.

You will have less difficulty sitting through a lengthy procedure.

Multiple treatments and full mouth restorations can occur atduring the same visit.

Less discomfort after treatment.

Anti-Anxiety Pills

The most commonly prescribed dental related drugs that treatanxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. Drugs such as Valium, Halcion,Xanax, or Ativan. These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning downactivity within “fear” receptors in the brain.

There are two different types of Benzodiazepines:

Sedative-Hypnotics: These drugsinduce calm, including drowsiness and even sleep. This sleep state is actuallya form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.

Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugswhich relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.

While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs,some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Othersact in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain.   Inmost cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lowerdoses, they reduce anxiety without sedation.

Benzodiazepines are also Central Nervous System (CNS) depressants(i.e. there can be a decline in blood pressure and breathing). It is importantto note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such asalcohol. Its important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctorrecommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower yourbreathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.

Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’vetaken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled bybus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.

When not to take benzodiazepines:

Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’simportant to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist.  You shouldbe sure to inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: knownallergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratorydisease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liverfunction, depression/bipolar disorder/psychoses, chronic bronchitis and someother conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking othermedications. There could be possible drug interactions.