Drugs Used in Oral Sedation Dentistry

Your dentist has a number of drug options to choose from if you require oral sedation for your appointment.These drugs include:
  • Valium (Diazepam) is a well known and time-tested sedative with amnesic properties. Valium has a longer half-life than some of the other medications, so it is particularly useful for appointments where extensive dentistry is being performed.
  • Halcion (Triazolam) is known for the treatment of insomnia. It is highly effective when used in oral sedation protocols. If your dentist deems it appropriate, it can also in conjunction with an antihistamine.
  • Sonata (Zaleplon) is similar to Halcion in that it is also commonly used for the treatment of insomnia.
  • Ativan (Lorazepam) is commonly prescribed for the treatment of anxiety. It possesses many of the desirable effects of other benzodiazepines with amnesic properties. It is an effective sedative with a medium length half-life and is useful for appointments that are longer than two hours.
  • Vistaril (Hydroxyzine) while classified as an antihistamine has also been shown to have anxiolytic (anti-anxiety) effects. It also works in conjunction with many of the benzodiazepines but has no amnesic properties.
  • Versed (Midazolam) has the shortest half-life of all of the benzodiazepines, lasting about an hour. This makes it ideal for short appointments or simple dental procedures.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oral_sedation_dentistry

Oral sedative medications can be given to a patient the night before a dentistry procedure or 30 minutes to an hour before the dental appointment, depending on the severity of the anxiety.

Remember, oral sedatives do not provide pain relief, so an injection of local anesthetic may also be administered during your appointment.

Choosing the right drug and the right dosage

It's Important to be honest with your dentist so that he can choose the right type of drug for you in the right dosage.

All of the patient’s risk factors, including pre-existing health conditions and your complete medical history, as well as the dental work to be performed are taken into consideration. Your dentist will also need to know any medications you are currently taking and previous allergies or adverse reactions you may have ad.

We suggest that you discuss your concerns with Dr. Hartley, our oral sedation dentist in Calgary. During this conversation, we can decide whether sedation is necessary and, if it is, what level of sedation is required to keep you comfortable.