Posted: December 17, 2018
If the thought of visiting the dentist leaves a pit in your stomach, you’re not alone. Millions of Americans experience dental anxiety. Often, this anxiety even prevents people from scheduling important dental appointments. Unfortunately, avoiding the dentist due to anxiety can increase your risk of serious health issues which may result in more painful and expensive treatments down the road.
Dr. Scott Greenhalgh is very sensitive to the ways in which dental anxiety may impact you, and he’s committed to ensuring your dental visits are as comfortable as possible. In order to provide a relaxing experience, Dr. Greenhalgh offers a variety of sedation dentistry options.
What is Sedation Dentistry?
Sedation dentistry is a service that we offer which allows you to feel more relaxed and comfortable in the dentist’s chair. You will receive a sedative medication to alleviate your anxiety. This sedative is very safe and will last through the duration of your treatment, allowing you to undergo all of your important dental treatments without any fear or anxiety.
You may benefit from sedation dentistry if you:
- Experience dental anxiety due to a bad dental experience in the past
- Have a strong gag reflex
- Struggle to sit still in the dentist’s chair
- Have sensitive teeth and gums
- Are undergoing an extensive dental procedure
- Need to complete several procedures at one time
Sedation Dentistry Options
In order to address your unique needs, Dr. Greenhalgh offers several different sedation options. The right sedation dentistry solution for you will depend on the causes of your dental anxiety and the type of treatment you are receiving.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Greenhalgh may recommend:
- Nitrous oxide sedation
- Oral conscious sedation
- IV sedation
Nitrous oxide gas, commonly referred to as laughing gas, is safely administered through a mask placed on your nose. Dr. Greenhalgh will manually adjust the level of nitrous oxide gas being administered throughout the procedure in order to ensure maximum comfort. One of the benefits of choosing nitrous oxide sedation is that the effects wear off shortly after you stop inhaling the gas. As a result, you will be able to safely drive home as soon as your procedure is complete.
Oral conscious sedation is administered using a sedative pill that is taken shortly before your treatment. This option places you in a relaxed, semi-conscious state throughout your procedure. You will be able to communicate with Dr. Greenhalgh and respond to his prompts, but you generally won’t remember the specifics of your procedure. Once the oral sedative wears off, you will feel refreshed and relaxed. It’s common to experience some lingering after-effects when you choose oral conscious sedation, so Dr. Greenhalgh recommends that you have someone available to drive you home after your procedure.
IV sedation is the most powerful option we offer. It is generally reserved for patients who:
- Experience extremely debilitating dental phobia or anxiety
- Are undergoing multiple procedures at one time
- Are undergoing very complex dental procedures
Dr. Greenhalgh works with a trained and certified anesthesiologist who will administer your IV sedation and monitor your vital signs throughout your procedure. This ensures the safest possible IV sedation experience. After your procedure, you will remain at our office until the anesthesiologist determines that it is safe for you to go home. You will need to have someone drive you home due to the lingering after-effects of the anesthesia.
Contact our Lakewood Dentist
Please contact Dr. Scott Greenhalgh using the form on this page or call 303-988-9060 today to learn more about our sedation dentistry options. We serve patients in Lakewood, Denver and throughout the surrounding areas of Colorado.