Benzodiazepine anxiolytics such as Halcion (Triazolam) and Valium (Diazepam) are taken in pill form one hour prior to the dental appointment, making it possible to relax and even fall asleep during dental treatment. These drugs produce more profound relaxation than nitrous oxide. The degree of relaxation can not be as easily titrated as for nitrous oxide since this drug is administered in pill form. Some patients will have no memory of the procedure afterwards. The newer drugs have a much shorter duration of action making them much safer than older drugs that have a more prolonged sedative effect.
As a general rule, you must be in good health to have sleep dentistry. Sleep dentistry is generally not recommended for pregnant women. The doctor will review your medical history and discuss possible drug interactions. You may need clearance from your medical doctor prior to taking these medications if you have a chronic but stable medical condition.
If you take a pill for sleep dentistry, you will need to have a companion accompany you to and from the dental office. It is best not to eat prior to sleep dentistry. You will be given post-operative instructions and emergency contact telephone numbers.
If you are a candidate for sleep dentistry, the different options to be used will be discussed at your initial consultation.