Xanax Before Dental Appointments

I have quite a nervous disposition. Because of my anxiety, which is severe at times, my doctor keeps me regularly supplied with Xanax. It really relaxes me and helps me function. I haven’t been to the dentist in a while, but I was wondering if I did go, could I take a Xanax before the appointment to make it easier or is that a no-no?


Dear Sheila,

A woman giving a thumbs up in a dental chair
Want to Feel Relaxed in the Dental Chair?

How fantastic that you’re trying to get your oral care back on track. It’s hard when you struggle with anxiety. Everything seems harder. There is a way to get quality dental care when you struggle with anxiety in a stress-free way.

The most important thing is your choice of dentists. Some dentists are compassionate with anxious patients and some aren’t. So, how do you find the one who’s right for you?

I’m going to suggest you do an internet search using one of the following terms:

  • Cater to Cowards Dentist
  • Sedation Dentist
  • Gentle Dentist

Any of those type of dentists are happy to treat patients with dental (or general) anxiety. Just as a precaution, though, it’s helpful to check their reviews to be sure they are actually what they advertise to be.

To Xanax or Not to Xanax

It is okay for you to take Xanax before your appointment. However, if you choose to do that be certain to let the dentist know. This way he won’t accidentally give you any type of medication that could have a complication when it interacts with your medication.

There is another option though. Most compassionate dentists also provide dental sedation. Someone with your level of anxiety would want oral conscious sedation. It’s a pill, similar to the one your doctor prescribed, which completely relaxes you. The biggest difference is your body responds a little differently. You’ll be a bit loopy and sleepy. In fact, many patients just sleep through the entire appointment.

The Benefits of Sedation

Aside from giving you a stress-free appointment, dental sedation allows the dentist to do more work at each appointment. If you’re someone who needs to “catch up” on your oral health, this can be a wonderful benefit. It gets you to a position of healthy teeth and gums much sooner than you normally would be able to.

While getting your oral health back on track can seem expensive at first, it actually saves you money. It’s much less expensive to fill decay than it is to put it off and end up needing a dental crown. Just as it’s much less expensive to get a dental crown than it is to get an extraction and needing to replace a lost tooth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Steven Collins.