Do you experience high levels of anxiety when visiting the dentist? Oral anxiolysis, an anti-anxiety prescribed medication, can be an option that decreases your anxiety while you receive endodontic treatment.
BENEFITS TO ANXIOUS PATIENTS
Alleviates anxiety while sitting through a lengthy dental procedure
Patient is in a relaxed state during treatment
Multiple treatments can be completed during the same visit
Commonly prescribed dental related drugs that help alleviate anxiety are from the “benzodiazepine” family. This includes drugs such as Valium, Halcion, Xanax, or Ativan.
TYPES OF BENZODIAZEPINE
Sedative Hypnotics - These drugs induce calm, including drowsiness and sometimes sleep. This sleep state is actually a form of hypnosis which is a form of physiological sleep.
Anti-Anxiety Drugs: These are drugs which relieve anxiety and induce a state of calm and relaxation.
These drugs decrease anxiety by binding and toning down activity within “fear” receptors in the brain.
While benzodiazepines act as sedatives AND anti-anxiety drugs, some are highly targeted at areas within the brain which focus on sleep. Others act in a more specific way and target fear centers in the brain. In most cases, higher doses act as sedatives and induce sleep, while in lower doses, 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 important to note that they shouldn’t be mixed with other CNS depressants such as alcohol. It’s important that you utilize the dose your dentist or doctor recommends. It is possible to overdose, and overdoses could lower your breathing to dangerously low levels, which could result in coma or death.
Please note that you shouldn’t travel on your own after you’ve taken any of these drugs. Make sure you have an escort, even if you traveled by bus or foot! It’s easy to become disorientated.
WHEN NOT TO TAKE BENZODIAZEPINES:
Some of these drugs can affect your liver and heart. It’s important to check with your practitioner and/or pharmacist. You should inform your doctor or dentist if any of the following apply: known allergy to the drug, narrow-angle glaucoma, pregnancy, severe respiratory disease (COPD), congestive heart failure (CHF), impaired kidney or liver function, depression/bipolar disorder/psychosis, chronic bronchitis and some other conditions. It’s also important to let us know if you are taking other medications. There could be possible drug interactions.
ARE YOU LOOKING FOR ORAL ANXIOLYSIS IN VIRGINIA?
No one should feel anxiety to the point it compromises their oral health. Contact Commonwealth Endodontics today to discuss if you are a good candidate for oral anxiolysis.