Dental anxiety is common and frequently poses a barrier to necessary dental treatment. The increasing availability of conscious
sedation in dental practice has made treatment much more accessible for anxious patients. At present, benzodiazepines are the most
commonly used drugs in sedation practice and provide a pleasant experience for most, but not all, patients. An understanding of the
mechanism of action of benzodiazepines should inform our practice and deepen our understanding of why and how sedation may fail.