Dentist will often use Valium, or other benzodiazepines, in sedation dentistry as a technique used to calm extremely hyper nervous dental phobic patients, those with a deep rooted psychological fear of dentists and dental treatment, so they can comfortably receive the oral care and treatment they need without undue stress.
Most patients who are severely dental phobic do not even seek the care they need even when they are in pain because their fear of the dentist and dental treatment over rides their rational understanding that they need treatment and their condition will only get worse without treatment. Valium and other benzodiazepines used in sedation dentistry can give hope to these patients allowing them to over come their fear in seeking the oral health care that they need.
This can allow them to feel more comfortable in seeking treatment before something catastrophic occurs that causes them pain, loss time form work and extensive and therefore expensive treatment.
Valium and other benzodiazepines can be offered to the extremely dental phobic patients in the dental office and can used in combination with mood alteration sedation methods and or nitrous oxide therapy. The combination therapy allows a synergistic effect on the patient that is greater than the sum of the individual methods by themselves. By altering the patientís physical and psychological environment in addition to the pharmaceutical sedation from nitrous oxide and Valium or other benzodiazepines the vast majority of dental phobic anxious patients can be treated in complete comfort and relaxation. The patients are almost completely unaware of their surroundings so they are oblivious to the fearful sights and sounds that they associate with the dental office and dental treatment.
They can avoid the sound of the dental high speed handpiece, what most patients call the dental drill, they donít have to see the dental instruments the doctor is using, which are often sharp and pointed and seen as implements of torture to the patients rather than the instruments of healing they truly are. In short patients can avoid all the triggers to their phobia that they associate with dental offices and dental treatment. Valium and other benzodiazepines are very effective in treating phobic patents because they have an amnesic property to them.
This means that the patients donít remember much of what they went through during their treatment, which helps them return for future appointments since they canít remember any adverse or scary aspects of their treatment. This is a great aspect of Valium and other benzodiazepines and makes them especially suited for this type of sedation.
The treating doctor prescribes Valium and other benzodiazepines and the patients need to have their prescriptions filled at a pharmacy. The patients will often be directed to take their initial dose about one hour prior to their scheduled appointment time. This allows the drug to be absorbed and reach effective blood levels when the patient arrives for their treatment appointment and avoids unnecessary delays in treatment once the patient arrives at the doctorís office.
This does mean that the patient will need to find some type of transportation to and from the doctorís office other than driving themselves, since driving under the influence of any intoxicant is extremely dangerous and illegal even when taking a properly prescribed medication.
It does take severs hours for the drug to be cleared for the patientís blood stream so it is not advisable for the patient to drive or do anything that might be dangerous for at least six hours after their last dose of Valium or other benzodiazepine. Another shortcoming of Valium and other benzodiazepines is that can interact with other medications that a patient may be taking so they will not be applicable to those patients that are on a medication that will cause an adverse reaction and who cannot be taken off that medication.
Thankfully the numbers of drugs that cause adverse reactions to Valium and the other benzodiazepines are small and most of the time the patient can be taken off these other medications for a short time to allow them to take the Valium or the other benzodiazepines.
However the only way to know if this approach is possible or if the patient must avoid Valium or the other benzodiazepines is if the patient discloses all the medications they are taking to their dentist. Patients should also disclose any other medical, congenital, or genetic conditions they have because these might be adversely affected by taking Valium or the other benzodiazepines.