The type of sedative or sedatives the dentist prescribes depends on the procedure being performed, the patient's medical condition and any other drugs they take. In many cases doctors use a class of sedative medication called benzodiazepines. Examples of benzodiazepines include diazepam, lorazepam and triazolam.
Benzodiazepines were first developed in the 1960s, so scientists have had many decades during which to study them. In general the drugs are extremely safe and pose little risk of adverse reaction with other medications. Benzodiazepines are the most commonly prescribed sedatives used today.