Most commonly, oral sedation (usually in the form of anti-anxiety pills) is prescribed for relieving dental anxiety in the hours before a dental appointment.
An anti-anxiety or sleeping pill taken the night before the dental appointment, an hour before going to bed, can help with falling asleep and getting some rest.
In dentistry, the most commonly prescribed drugs for relieving dental anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. You’ve probably heard of them by their tradenames- for example Valium, Xanax, or Ativan.
Benzodiazepines decrease anxiety by binding with receptors in the brain which tone down activity in those parts of the brain responsible for fear.
You should not travel on your own to your dental appointment after taking benzodiazepines for dental anxiety, even if you are walking to the dental office. It’s easy to become disorientated and walk straight into the front of a car or even forget that you are on your way to the dentist. Find someone to accompany you and escort you both to and from the appointment.