Most commonly, oral sedation (usually in the form of anti-anxiety pills also known as “happy pills”) is prescribed for relieving anxiety in the hours immediately before a dental appointment. An anti-anxiety or a sleeping pill taken the night before the appointment, an hour before going to bed, can help with falling asleep and getting some rest.
In dentistry, the most commonly prescribed drugs for (or rather against!) anxiety belong to the “benzodiazepine” family. You’ve probably heard of them by their tradenames – for example, Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan.
Benzos decrease anxiety by binding with receptors in the brain which tone down activity in those parts of the brain responsible for fear.
You shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken benzodiazepines in the doses mentioned here – make sure you have an escort, even if you’re walking there! It’s easy to become disorientated and miss your stop if going by bus or train, or walk straight in front of a car – or you might even forget that you’re on your way to your dentist’s (“hey cool” I hear you say :wink:)… So find someone to accompany you. And please don’t pop pills and drive!