Taking anti-anxiety medications before seeing your dentist
If you are afraid of the dentist, you may have come across oral sedation as a possible solution. Oral sedation basically refers to taking anti-anxiety medications, also referred to as happy pills, to help relax and better cope with your fear of the dentist. Taking anti-anxiety medications can give you that calm, relaxed feeling you’re looking for. Taking these pills can take the edge off and help those of you who are deadly afraid of the dentist get through your more difficult appointments.
What are anti-anxiety medications?
Anti-anxiety medications are benzodiazepines drugs. These medications. Benzodiazepines create a calm sensation and produce anti-anxiety and sleep like symptoms. There are several types of anti-anxiety pills which are commonly used by dentists to help reduce anxiety levels. Each drug has its own characteristics and varying onset and duration (half-life).
List of most common benzodiazepines used in dentistry (Click to learn more about each one’s characteristics)
What are the benefits of taking anti-anxiety medications before dental visits?
If you’re planning on taking anti-anxiety medications then you must discuss this with your dentist in advance. Anti-anxiety medications need to be prescribed by your dentist who will also instruct you on how to take them.
Anti-anxiety drug typically need to be taken about 30 minutes to an hour before your appointment to feel the effects. You usually need to take one or two pills, which will cary based on the drug dosage, your body weight and metabolism. Additionally, someone needs to take you back and forth to your appointment since you won’t be allowed to drive afterwards. So if taking such medication sounds like a good option for you, then read on to learn more about the benefits of anti-anxiety medications:
Taking anti-anxiety medications can be very effective
When benzodiazepines work the way they’re supposed to, their effects are wonderful. Taking just one or two pills can really help out nervous patients. The drugs depress receptors in your nervous system which helps reduce anxiety and takes the edge off. Most anxious patients end up feeling relaxed and breeze through their dental appointment.
Taking anti-anxiety medications can also help those who are not as afraid of their dentist. They work very well for getting through more difficult dental appointments such as root canal treatment, teeth extractions and dental implant placement. Additionally, if you haven’t been to the dentist for a long while and expect to need lots of work, then taking benzodiazepines can come in very handy.
Benzodiazepines are easy to administer and require minimal preparation
You only need a prescription to obtain anti-anxiety pills for your next dental appointment. Then all you have to do is take the pills as instructed before your dental appointment. Once the medication has taken effect you’ll feel calm and relaxed and you are now ready to get your treatment started.
There is not much preparation that goes into pre-medicating with benzodiazepines for the dentist. You need to avoid drinking alcohol beforehand. Also, you will require someone to drive you back and forth to your appointment. Keep in mind that you’ll be drowsy so you’re not allowed to drive when under the influence of benzodiazepines.
But there is not much more preparation required aside from this. These pills are safe if taken as instructed. There are minimal risks associated with them when administered within a controlled setting at your dentist’s office.
Inexpensive and easily repeatable
Of all the options dentists offer to help relieve your anxiety, taking anti-anxiety medication is the least expensive one. After all you only need to cover the cost of your medications and that’s about it. Since pre-medication is easy and inexpensive, you can repeat the process again in the future whenever necessary.
Another benefit of taking anti-anxiety medications over full sedation is that it helps you concur your fear of the dentist. Since you’re still awake and aware of your surrounding, you can continue to communicate with your dentist and follow instructions. This eases and expedites your treatment. Additionally it can help you little by little concur your fears. After all you can’t go to sleep for every filling and cleaning appointment you need for the rest of your life. Starting with taking a few anti-anxiety medications can get you the initial boost as you work your way through the fear of the dentist!