Oral sedation: a primer on anxiolysis for the adult patient

Anesth Prog. Fall 2007;54(3):118-28; quiz 129. doi: 10.2344/0003-3006(2007)54[118:OSAPOA]2.0.CO;2.


The use of sedatives has established efficacy and safety for managing anxiety regarding dental treatment. This article will provide essential information regarding the pharmacology and therapeutic principles that govern the appropriate use of orally administered sedatives to provide mild sedation (anxiolysis). Dosages and protocols are intended for this purpose, not for providing moderate or deeper sedation levels.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Anti-Anxiety Agents / administration & dosage*
  • Benzodiazepines / administration & dosage*
  • Conscious Sedation / methods*
  • Dental Anxiety / drug therapy*
  • GABA Agonists / administration & dosage
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists / administration & dosage
  • Humans
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives / administration & dosage*


  • Anti-Anxiety Agents
  • GABA Agonists
  • Histamine H1 Antagonists
  • Hypnotics and Sedatives
  • Benzodiazepines